In May 1992, Mary Jo Buttafuoco was shot in the head at her home in the suburbs of Long Island by a teenage girl who was having an affair with her husband, Joey.
Within hours, police arrested and charged 17-year-old Amy Fisher with first-degree attempted murder. While Joey, at first, denied having sex with the then 16-year-old, he now tells ABC News that his relationship with Fisher was “inappropriate.” Mary Jo and Joey are no longer married.
Tonight, the former couple’s daughter, Jessie Buttafuoco, will open up to ABC News’ about what life has been like since that fateful day in 1992.
Here’s what you need to know about Jessie Buttafuoco.
1. She Was 9 at the Time of the Shooting
Jessie was only 9 when her mother was shot in the face by Fisher, who served seven years in prison for the crime.
Speaking to ABC News, Jessie shared, “Growing up for me, the performing arts was my outlet. When I was on stage, I was a character. I wasn’t Jessie Buttafuoco, and it was so nice to get out of that reality. My friends call me ‘Showtime’ because I can be on. I can make you laugh and I can make you happy and smile. But the real me inside is hurting, is in pain and is trying to figure out life.”
Jessie continued, “I’m really trying to get deep and figure out why I operate the way I operate and how I can change and be a better person and help other people along the way. What makes me the most sad, to be honest, is my complete inability to be able to love somebody because of all this. Since I was 9 years old, all I’ve known is that sex and love and intimacy leads to bad things. It’s extremely hard for me to even think that love exists. It’s really hard to change because I’ve missed out on that.”
Three made-for-TV films have been created about Amy Fisher. In a recent Instagram post taken on set of one of the Lifetime films, Jessie writes, “Here’s a glimpse into my childhood: on the set of 1 out of 3 @lifetimemovies made about my family about 6 months after my mom was shot. My hero at the time – Sam from Who’s the Boss – @milano_alyssa played my absolute enemy Amy fisher. What a mind fuck.”
2. She Created a Kickstarter Campaign Last Year to Fund a Documentary About Her Life
Last year, Jessie created a Kickstarter campaign to fund a documentary titled, “Infamy’s Infant.” She aimed to raise $15,000 to create the film, but funding was canceled after she was unable to reach her goal.
In a teaser trailer for the documentary, Jessie says, “I grew up my whole life with the notion that people hated my family. So I’ve grown up my whole life trying to prove people wrong. And now I’m not trying to prove people wrong, now, I’m just trying to get to the truth.” Jessie intended for the documentary to be about “being the daughter of the ‘Buttafuoco’s’ and taking a deeply honest look into what really happened to her family, the players involved, and the truths that have been covered up by power and corruption.”
In her “About” section of her Kickstarter, Jessie explains that she hoped to raise the $15k to put it towards research, equipment, travel expenses, administrative needs, production staff, travel, interviews, rights, and insurance.
Her website states that she is still actively pursuing fundraising for the project.
3. She Has Been Interviewed by Oprah, Ricki Lake, and Howard Stern
Because of her infamous parents, Jessie has been interviewed by a host of celebrities, from Oprah to Ricki Lake and Howard Stern.
In a recent interview on Good Morning America about growing up in the public eye, Jessie explained, “After the shooting, there was zero degree of normalcy. That’s all I wanted– all I wanted was to be normal. It was a rough time.”
Jessie admits that she dabbled in cocaine as a coping mechanism. She tells GMA, “It made me feel like the queen.” She also candidly admits to experiencing eating disorders and suffering from alcoholism.
One year after Fisher pled guilty to the crime of shooting Mary Jo Buttafuoco, Jessie’s father pleaded guilty to statutory rape. Jessie tells GMA, “It was pretty surreal. What sticks out the most now is… I drew a lot of pictures. I colored in a lot of coloring books so he could post them on his wall. And that’s just messed up. That’s a messed up exchange between a father and daughter.”
4. She Hosts Two Podcasts
On her Twitter page, which has over 28k followers, Jessie writes that she is a “producer, host, speaker, and creator” based out of Los Angeles.
Today, she is also the host of two podcasts: Live Your Life Kween Podcast and This is Murder Podcast. From 2014 to 2017, Jessie was the co-host of the ‘Shane and Friends’ podcast with YouTube, Shane Dawson. Jessie writes that she credits her “raw and blatantly honest humor” to a “tumultuous childhood.”
Jessie is the creative mind behind a Youtube page called “Live Your Life Kween!” with over 29k subscribers. The Youtube page is a series of advice videos in which subscribers write in questions for Jessie to answer.
5. She Auditioned for Season 12 of ‘The Voice’ on NBC
Jessie auditioned for season 12 of The Voice on NBC. In March 2017, she took to Twitter to write, “I didn’t turn a chair, I didn’t make it on air, but I had the TIME OF MY LIFE auditioning for The Voice.”
These days, she is embarking on a Motivational Speaking Journey to encourage others to overcome adversity. Her Instagram page also suggests she is an avid dancer.
Be sure to hear what Jessie has to say on tonight’s episode of ABC News’ 20/20, airing on ABC at 9pm ET/PT.