John Wayne Bobbitt, whose wife sliced off his penis, loses toes due to water contamination

John Wayne Bobbitt, whose wife sliced off his penis, loses toes due to water contamination

John Wayne Bobbitt, who became a fixation of tabloids in the early 1990s after his wife chopped off part of his penis, has lost all 10 of his toes.

The 57-year-old, who now lives in Sarasota, Florida, believes that drinking unsafe water while stationed at an infamous contaminated Marine Corps base in North Carolina contributed to the long-term issues that eventually caused him to have his toes amputated.

Mr Bobbitt is better-known for a different scandal though.

In 1993, his then-wife Lorena Bobbitt attacked him in his sleep, cut off part of his penis, and threw it out the window of a car, though it was alter re-attached.

Ms Bobbitt was later found not guilty in a high-profile trial. Her attorneys argued she was driven temporarily insane by physical and sexual abuse from Mr Bobbitt. He was acquitted on charges of marital sexual assault in a related trial.

After the trial and the couple’s 1995 divorce, Mr Bobbitt returned to work as a construction worker.

In 2013, he stepped on a nail at a construction site, leading to a series of infections and eventually a case of toxic peripheral polyneuropathy that caused him to lose all 10 of his toes. He now walks using prosthetics.

In an interview with The Sun, Mr Bobbitt said he believed his time drinking contaminated water while station at the Marine Corps base Camp Lejuene in the 1980s contributed to his later health issues and to his behaviour while married to Lorena Bobbitt.

"I wasn’t behaving the way I should have," he said.

"Maybe I would have made better decisions if my cognitive functioning wasn’t distorted by the chemicals."

For three decades starting in the 1950s, Camp Lejuene’s water supply was contaminated.

A recent CDC study found that those stationed at the base between 1975 and 1985 had at least a 20 per cent higher risk of cancers than those stationed elsewhere, including elevated risk for some types of leukemia and lymphoma and cancers of the lung, breast, throat, esophagus and thyroid.

In August of 2022, President Joe Biden signed the Honoring our Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act of 2022, which included a provision allowing those exposed to toxic water at Camp Lejeune to file new claims.

The deadline to file claims about the base under the new law is 10 August this year.