What Happened To Famous '90s Tabloid Figures

Bobbitt. Buttafuoco. Lewinsky. These surnames will echo in eternity. If you lived through the '90s, you'll never forget them. Nor will you forget Kato Kaelin - though you may have forgotten why you knew his name in the first place. Like every decade, the '90s had its serious news stories and the weird sideshows that gained prominence in the cultural psyche far beyond their impact on current events.

In a few cases (as with Monica Lewinsky), the two worlds - the world of the tabloid and the world of "serious news" - collided, with lasting consequences. Of course, life goes on, even for tabloid figures, and it's only natural to wonder - where are they now?

  • John Wayne Bobbitt Got ‘Reattached,’ Moved To Vegas, And Is A Part-Time Treasure Hunter
    Photo: Bob K (D.B) / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.5

    John Wayne Bobbitt Got ‘Reattached,’ Moved To Vegas, And Is A Part-Time Treasure Hunter

    In 1993, after a domestic dispute with then-wife Lorena Gallo resulted in John Wayne Bobbitt's member being cut off and thrown into a field, it was recovered. After a nine-and-a-half-hour operation, John’s member was successfully reattached, and what followed was one of the most sensationalized trials of the '90s.

    Bobbitt rode the publicity train in the mid-'90s, appearing on The Howard Stern Show and other talk shows, getting into dubious business ventures (like autographing steak knives - get it?), and even starring in a couple of adult films. One, made in 1994, was called John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut. “[An adult film] seemed like the best way to show my penis worked," Bobbitt later explained.

    John and Lorena divorced, and after two more failed marriages, Bobbitt moved to Las Vegas. In his spare time, he likes to hunt for treasure, and once focused on locating the Fenn Treasure, a cache of gold and jewels hidden in the Rocky Mountains. However, the treasure was ultimately found by medical student Jack Stuef.

  • Monica Lewinsky Had A Handbag Line And Was A Producer On The TV Show About Her Scandal

    Monica Lewinsky is one of the most infamous names in scandal history. After becoming an intern at the White House in 1995, she began an affair with President Bill Clinton that got leaked to the world in 1998 after a phone call with one of her co-workers, Linda Tripp, was recorded. In the ensuing political brouhaha, Clinton denied any sexual relationship with Lewinsky, then was eventually forced to admit the truth. The Republican-controlled Congress impeached Clinton for lying under oath and obstruction of justice, while Lewinsky became the butt of late-night talk show jokes.

    Following this scandal, Lewinsky, who was initially devastated by her experience in the spotlight, began her own handbag line in 1999, in an attempt to create a new career path for herself. She also served as a producer for the FX show Impeachment: American Crime Story, taking charge of the past that once defined her.

    In 2015, Lewinsky gave a TED Talk in which she spoke out against cyberbullying. “Public humiliation as a blood sport has to stop,” she said. “We need to return to a long-held value of compassion and empathy.”

  • Ice skater Tonya Harding was known as America's sweetheart - a young Oregon native who was only the second woman in history to successfully land a triple axel in a competition. However, things took a weird turn for Harding in 1994 when ex-husband Jeff Gillooly hatched a plan to attack her rival, Nancy Kerrigan. For having an alleged role in the assault, Harding was banned for life by the association US Figure Skating.

    Years later, Harding lives a quiet life with her husband, Joseph Price, and their son in Vancouver. In an interview with The Morning Show, Harding discussed her life away from the limelight, saying:

    I’m a mum and I love working out in the yard and chopping firewood. I cook dinner every once in a while... but it’s so hard these days to be able to afford the stuff that’s good rather than the stuff that comes in a box.

  • Figure skating legend Nancy Kerrigan's attack is known as one of the world's biggest sports scandals. On January 6, 1994, Kerrigan was finishing up a skating practice at a Detroit ice rink when she was hit on the back of her knee with a club. It was later revealed the assault was connected to rival skater Tonya Harding, though Harding herself denied knowledge of it. Kerrigan recovered from the incident and went on to compete in the 1994 Olympics.

    Years later, after retiring from the sport, Kerrigan wrote In My Own Words, a book recounting the trials and tribulations of her ice skating career. She also competed on the 24th season of Dancing With the Stars and finished in seventh place. In 1999, she founded the Nancy Kerrigan Foundation, which serves those with impaired eyesight.

  • Amy Fisher Did Her Time, Married A Cop, And Later Changed Her Name

    In May 1992, 17-year-old Amy Fisher confronted the wife of her lover, Joey Buttafuoco. She drove to the Buttafuoco home and shot wife Mary Jo Buttafuoco in the head after telling her of the affair. The story was an immediate sensation, as the world tried to unfold each detail of it. The teen was charged and resided in a New York prison for over six years, then was released under parole in 1999.

    The "Long Island Lolita," as she came to be known, has since moved on with her life. She married a former police officer, Lou Bellera. The two had children together and eventually divorced, causing her to take her children and move to Florida. She legally changed her name to Elizabeth Bellera, and stays away from the spotlight.

  • In 1991, standing before Congress, Anita Hill made history as she testified against the sexual harassment she had endured while working with Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas, who had been her supervisor at the Department of Education and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

    Then-Senator Joe Biden presided over the hearings where Hill was accused of being a "liar, a fantasist, and an erotomaniac."

    Hill never forgot how she was treated at the hearing and in the press, and will not accept a late apology from Biden, although she supported him in the 2020 election. "I cannot be satisfied by simply saying, 'I’m sorry for what happened to you,'" Hill told The New York Times. "I will be satisfied when I know that there is real change and real accountability and real purpose." Hill became a law professor and currently teaches at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA.