A few years back, I was visiting the family in New York. While there, I had the opportunity to attend a Yankees game, along with my sister and her then-boyfriend. We scored some tickets from my dad's old law firm, who had season tickets on the field level, between home plate and first base, about fifteen or twenty rows back. We took the 4 train to the Bronx for a day of baseball on a beautiful summer afternoon.
Midway through the game, I noticed that a bunch of people around us were standing up and looking at something farther back in the stands. Usually, that meant that a fight has broken out. I turned to look, but didn't see any of the regular signs of a scuffle, so I asked the guy next to me, who was peering through a pair of binoculars, what was up.
"It's Joey Buttafuoco," he replied.
"Can I borrow your binoculars for a second?"
And sure enough, there he was, wearing a multicolored 'do rag, signing autographs for the crowd that had gathered around him. I took a deep breath and sighed, knowing that I had just experienced a Genuine New York Moment.
I'm telling you this story as a lead in to the sad news that the Buttafuocos are calling it quits after 26 years of marriage.
"It's OK. To move on you've got to get a divorce," Buttafuoco said in a telephone interview. "She's with another guy. His name is Stew. I've been with a girl for awhile, too."
Buttafuoco's attorney, Leon F. Bennett, said the two remain friends and are "trying to work out an amicable resolution."
Mary Jo Buttafuoco, who filed divorce papers in Ventura County Superior Court on Feb. 3, did not list an attorney in her filing and could not be located for comment.
Buttafuoco, who owned a Long Island auto body repair shop at the time of the shooting, moved to Los Angeles in the mid-90s to pursue an acting career. He said he's since returned to the car repair business, and now works with his adult son.
"I do all the Ferraris," he said. "I do a little TV and movies but that doesn't put a lot of butter on my bread."