Fifteen years ago, Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot in the face outside her Long Island home by Amy Fisher, the 17-year-old lover of her husband, Joey.
Now going by her birth name, Mary Jo Connery has moved on. She lives in California with her fiancé, Stu Tendler, where they run a small business that designs party posters.
"It's really like an old dream," Connery said in an exclusive interview with "Good Morning America" that airs Friday. "When I look back now, it was a nightmare. I can't believe I survived it. I can't believe I raised a family through it."
Watch "Good Morning America" on Friday for the full interview.
Joey Buttafuoco and Fisher, however, seem ready to stroll down memory lane and take another shot at love.
The duo had dinner together Wednesday night in Port Jefferson, N.Y., where the date was taped and will be shown tonight on "The Insider."
As for the continued fascination with Buttafuoco and Fisher, Connery said, "Why do we like train wrecks? Why do we like to watch? Why do we slow down when we go past an accident scene? It's the nature of the beast, I guess."
'He's Hit Rock Bottom'
Both Buttafuoco, 53, and Fisher, 32, have been served with divorce papers from their current spouses.
Recent reports suggest that the former lovers are in talks to produce a TV reality show.
Connery said she's not surprised. Her ex-husband's motivation, she said, is simple.
"One word: money. Money," she said. "Joe has lost everything. He doesn't have a business; he's been in jail more times than I can count. He has nothing. There's nothing in his life, and he's hit rock bottom, and so this is what he does."
The Buttafuocos and Fisher, dubbed the "Long Island Lolita," all gained instant notoriety after the shooting on May 19, 1992, and the details of the affair became public.
Joey served time in jail for statutory rape, and Fisher served seven years for the assault. Mary Jo, meanwhile, almost died, and she still deals with lingering physical problems from the shooting, including nerve damage and blurred vision in her right eye.
"I turned my head and that was the last I remember. … The bullet had nicked my carotid artery and I almost bled to death," Connery said.
Her prognosis was bleak.
"And then they said, 'Oh, she's not gonna walk, she's not gonna talk, she's not gonna, you know, breathe on her own,'" Connery said. "And then as I did each step and then came this far, they called me a miracle."
Surprisingly, Joey and Mary Jo stayed together after he got out of jail and moved to California together. They eventually divorced in 2003.
Life has turned around since then, and she said she and Tendler are very happy together.
"Oh, life is so nice. Life is the way I've always wanted it to be, a home and family," Connery told "Good Morning America." "We have our friends and family come over and we've blended. We're like a modern day Brady Bunch."