Joey Buttafuoco: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Joey Buttafuoco: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know


Learn about Joey Buttafuoco’s life today.

Joey Buttafuoco was an auto repairman in Long Island who found himself in the middle of a scandal when his young lover, Amy Fisher, shot his wife, Mary Jo Buttafuoco, on the steps of their home.

Joey Buttafuoco became a comical character in the case that gripped America. He has enjoyed his time in the limelight and made many television appearances over the years. However, Buttafuoco has also made many appearances in court. He served six months in jail after pleading guilty to the statutory sexual assault of Fisher, who was only 16 when their relationship began. He faced criminal charges several more times, including a case that would end his career.

Despite Buttafuoco’s guilty plea in the assault of Fisher, he has repeatedly denied ever having sex with her. Buttafuoco now lives in California, but he has been banned from working in the auto repair business because of an insurance fraud conviction.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Joey Buttafuoco Met Amy Fisher When she Was 16 & her Parents Brought their Car in for Repairs

Joey Buttafuoco met Amy Fisher, his young lover, when her parents brought their vehicle to his auto repair shop. Their meeting was about 1 1/2 years before the shooting. They started the affair soon after meeting, according to a May 23, 1992 article in the New York Post. His business was called The Complete Auto Body Repair Shop, located in Bellmore.

“The police said the romance started soon thereafter when Fisher was 16 years old,” the article said. “[Police Sgt. Daniel] Severin would give no details of the couple’s affair, but he said the shooting was apparently the result of an attempt by Joseph Buttafuoco to break off the relationship. ‘The young lady would have no part of ending the romance. For her, it was a fatal attraction,’ Severin said.”

After Mary Jo Buttafuoco was permitted to speak to police, she gave them a description of the shooter. Police told Joey Buttafuoco about the description, and he was immediately remorseful about his role in the shooting, identified Fisher and told police where to find her.

“When detectives reported the information to her husband, Joseph, he broke down and told them of the affair and where they could find his young lover,” the article said. “She was pulled over in her car at 6 p.m. Thursday [May 22, 1992] on Merrick Road, a short distance from her home.”

2. Buttafuoco Denied Having Sex With Fisher but Pleaded Guilty to Statutory Rape

Amy Fisher was sentenced to serve 5 to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to first-degree assault in the shooting. She served about seven years in prison after her case was heard by the state parole board. She was released in 1999 at age 24. One of the factors in her release was that she, too, was a victim in the case, The New York Times reported following her 1999 court hearing.

“[Suffolk County District Attorney] Mr. Klein said several factors were taken into consideration, including the fact that ‘Mr. Buttafuoco raped Amy when she was 16 years old,’” The New York Times reported.

The comment drew a fiery response from Mary Jo Buttafuoco. She and Joey were still married at the time, and he was not present in court.

The New York Times reported, “Mrs. Buttafuoco jumped to her feet and shouted: ‘Stop it, Fred. Look at me when you say that Fred, you son of a b***.’ Mrs. Buttafuoco was restrained by her lawyer, Dominic A. Barbara, who told Nassau County Court Judge Ira H. Wexner, ‘Obviously there are a number of very heated and unreconciled issues here today.’”

He was sentenced to serve six months in prison for statutory rape after pleading guilty. He told a reporter, “Sometimes lust takes me over. It’s very painful,” according to the Chicago Tribune.

Years later, he again denied that he ever had sex with Fisher.

During an interview with The New York Times in 2003 about his divorce from Buttafuoco, he said he only pleaded guilty because “he had run out of money and wanted to put the case behind him.”

“She was never a girlfriend, never a lover,” he told the newspaper. “The prosecutors spent so much time and money coming after me they had to get a conviction.”

3. Joey Buttafuoco’s Kids & Family Moved to California; He Later Divorced Mary Jo Buttafuoco

Joey Buttafuoco moved with Mary Jo Buttafuoco and their children to California, where he worked as a radio host and an actor, according to The New York Times. The couple separated in 2000 and divorced in 2003. They were married for 26 years. Mary Jo filed the divorce papers.

“It’s OK. To move on you’ve got to get a divorce,” Buttafuoco said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press. “She’s with another guy. His name is Stew. I’ve been with a girl for awhile, too.”

His attorney told the news outlet the two remained friends and were “trying to work out an amicable resolution.”

4. Joey Buttafuoco Faced Unrelated Charges After the Shooting, Including Soliciting a Prostitute

Joey Buttafuoco’s statutory sexual assault charge was not the end of his trouble with the law. Buttafuoco went on to face several sets of criminal charges. In 1995, he was arrested in a prostitution sting, according to the Chicago Tribune. He was arrested after approaching an undercover cop in Hollywood’s Sunset Strip for sex. He was fined and placed on probation for two years after pleading no contest, according to The New York Times.

In 2004, he was sentenced to one year in jail for insurance fraud and barred from working in the auto body business in California for the rest of his life, according to the Los Angeles Times. Police searched his home and found $19,406 in cash, a handgun, a shotgun, marijuana, rock and powder cocaine, and psilocybin. He sold his share of his business, California Collision, to avoid a trial.

The newspaper reported:

In September, an undercover investigator went to California Collision and told Buttafuoco that he had told his insurance company that his car had been vandalized. Although there was little damage, the investigator said he wanted a new paint job, court records show.

Buttafuoco told the investigator that was illegal, but went on to give him “a tutorial,” court records show. Buttafuoco told the investigator to deface the car to justify the paint job, according to court records. The investigator returned three days later with scratches on his car.

Buttafuoco “complimented” the investigator when the latter scratched the hood of the car with a key, court records show. Then Buttafuoco told the investigator to tell the insurance company that the entire vehicle had been scratched and dented, court documents said.

Two years later, he was charged with illegal possession of ammunition, according to the Associated Press. He was not permitted to possess ammunition because of his felony conviction. He was sentenced to one year in jail.

5. Ex-Wife Mary Jo Buttafuoco Called Joey Buttafuoco ‘a Sociopath’ in her Book

Mary Jo Buttafuoco wrote a book, Getting It Through My Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know, which was published in 2009.

An excerpt from the book says, “I think, every once in a while, about the life I should be living, the one I fully expected to be enjoying right about now. In the life I was supposed to have, my husband and I would be admiring the view from our waterfront home in the town where we were both born and raised. Good friends and neighbors would be next door, up the street, and all over the neighborhood. Our parents would live only blocks away, in our childhood homes. We’d be taking our grandchildren to the beach club on weekends, enjoying the fruits of our labors and looking forward to a peaceful retirement. That was the plan, anyway . . . but the whole world knows how that turned out.”

Mary Jo Buttafuoco also talked about her ex-husband’s harmful behavior on a TV show in 2017, Scandal Made Me Famous.

“That’s the behavior of a sociopath,” she said. “They can charm the snakes out of the trees. That is one of the traits about Joe that I loved so much about him. And he was very, very good at it, as most sociopaths are.”

Among the sociopathic behaviors Buttafuoco claimed she saw in her ex-husband were his grasps at publicity following the shooting, and his use of $50,000 from the sale of their first house to pay a debt to his cocaine dealer. Buttafuoco told News Day the book was filled with “inaccuracies,” but would not comment on specifics.

Buttafuoco chose the title of her book as an ode to her mother and as a way to get ahead of a joke she thought was inevitable, she told News Day.

“Mary Jo’s entendre-laden title is a riff on an admonition she used to hear from her mom: ‘Get it through your thick Irish skull, Mary Jo,’” the article said. “I wanted to make that joke before everyone else did,’ she says.”

READ NEXT: Amy Fisher Today: Where Is She Now in 2019?

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