EXCLUSIVE: In a story that is particularly pertinent as Americans continue to grapple with the issue of gun legislation, Mary Jo Buttafuoco’s life story is being made into an unscripted documentary to coincide with the 25-year anniversary of her being shot in the face by her husband’s mistress. Tent City and FremantleMedia North America just optioned Buttafuoco’s life rights and will develop her life story with her.
In May 1992, Buttafuoco opened her front door and was shot in the head by her husband’s 16-year-old mistress. Her life became nothing she recognized anymore as the injury left her struggling to survive, requiring multiple surgeries and facial reconstruction after a bullet entered her brain (where it remains). The story made international headlines and generated multiple TV movies. The media dubbed the teenage shooter as the “Long Island Lolita.”
Buttafuoco’s subsequent 2010 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 she wrote with Julie McCarron became a best-seller. Oftentimes the victims become forgotten in shootings, but after Buttafuoco recovered and divorced her husband, she hit the speaker circuit to talk about what happened to her.
“Everyone thinks they know Mary Jo’s story and now 25 years later we are honored to help tell her story of a woman who survived and is still picking up the pieces,” said Lori Rothschild Ansaldi who will serve as one of the executive producers on the project.
The deal was brokered by Katie Zwick and Christina Kuo at CAA. Sharlene Martin of Martin Literary and Media Management (who reps Buttafuoco) will serve as an executive producer with Ansaldi and Lisa Bourgoujian of Tent City Entertainment. MLM sold Boston-based ABC News producer Michele McPhee book about the brother terrorists behind the Boston Bombing — Maxiumum Harm — last month to Glass Entertainment Group which is developing it as a documentary series.