Bobbitt, now 46, recounted how she moved from Venezuela to Virginia when she was 18 and married John in 1989. He was charming at first, she said, adding that when he started taking drugs, drinking and cheating on her, their relationship began falling apart and he became abusive.
See photos from Bobbitt's infamous trial:
Lorena Bobbitt trial
Lorena Bobbitt gives new interview 20 years after she sliced off her husband's penis
1994: Lorena Bobbitt takes the witness stand in her trial for cutting off her husband's penis. (Photo by Consolidated News Pictures/Getty Images)
MANASSAS, VA - JANUARY 10: John Wayne Bobbitt (2ndL) arrives at the Prince William County Court House 10 January 1994 for the first day of his wife's trial on charges of malicious wounding. Lorena Bobbitt allegedly wounded Bobbitt by cutting off his penis with a knife. (Photo credit J. DAVID AKE/AFP/Getty Images)
Lorena Gallo, center, accompanied by her mother Elvia and father Carlos arrive at the Prince William County courthouse in Manassas, Va. Monday Dec. 8, 1997 to face charges of assaulting her mother. Gallo, formerly known as Lorena Bobbitt, was accused in 1994 of cutting off her husband's penis with a kitchen knife. (AP Photo/Willima Philpott)
MANASSAS, VA - NOVEMBER 8: Lorena Bobbitt (L) leaves the courthouse with an unidentified woman (C), 08 November 1993 where her husband John Wayne Bobbitt is on trial for marital sexual assault. Mrs. Bobbitt cut off Mr. Bobbitt's penis after he allegedly raped her 23 June. (Photo credit DOUG PENSINGER/AFP/Getty Images)
MANASSAS, VA - JANUARY 20: Lorena Bobbitt leaves the Prince William County Courthouse in Manassas, 20 January 1994, carrying a stuffed bear and flowers after the seventh day of her trial for malicious wounding. Bobbitt sliced off the penis of her husband, John Wayne Bobbitt, in a marital dispute. Bobbitt was found not guilty, 21 January 1994, by reason of insanity and committed to a mental health facility for 45 days observation. (Photo credit J. DAVID AKE/AFP/Getty Images)
File - (AP) John Wayne Bobbitt on the Stand - John Bobbitt strains to hear a question during the second day of testimony in the malicious wounding trial of Lorena Bobbitt at the Prince William Circuit Courthouse in Manassas, Virginia. (AP-Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Lorena Bobbitt wipes tears as she listens to John Bobbitt testify about her abortion and sex life during the sixth day of her trial at the Prince William County Courthouse in Manassas, Va., Wednesday, Jan. 19, 1994. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
File - (AP) T-Shirts - Lisa Cushing, left, and Jeff Fairman, both of Manassas, Virginia, sell Bobbitt trial souvenir t-shirts outside the Prince William Circuit Courthouse in Manassas. Lorena Bobbitt went to trial, charged with malicious wounding of her husband when she severed his penis. (AP-Photo/Wilfredo Lee) 10.1.1994
MANASSAS, VA - JANUARY 21: Brian Howard (L) and James Lowe (R), defense attorneys for Lorena Bobbitt, smile as they talk to reporters 21 January 1994, about the verdict in Bobbitt's malicious wounding trial. The jury returned a verdict of not guilty by reason of insanity. (Photo credit J.DAVID AKE/AFP/Getty Images)
Lorena Bobbitt, flanked by her attornies James Lowe, left, and Lisa Kemler, meets reporters outside court in Manassas, Va., Monday, Feb. 28, 1994. A judge ordered her release from a mental hospital, five weeks after her acquittal on reason of insanity for cutting off her husband's penis. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
"I didn't know where to go," Bobbitt said. "And remember, I was isolated. I didn't have my family. I felt embarrassed to talk about domestic abuse because I didn't want that to happen."
Then in June 1993, she suddenly snapped, she said.
"That's what happens when a man pushes a woman so far," she said. "I found myself in the street with a penis in one hand and the knife in the other... and so yeah, that happens."
In 1994, she was acquitted of malicious wounding by reason of temporary insanity. John Wayne Bobbitt denied he had abused her and was acquitted of marital sexual assault. His penis was reattached and he went on to star in adult movies, including John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut.
Steve Harvey listened in shock to her story.
Bobbitt told him: "I'm glad that after 22 years you still laugh about it, but something good has come of my negative."
As well as making the audience laugh - and Harvey cringe - the story has shined a light on domestic violence, she said. Bobbitt now runs Lorena's Red Wagon, an anti-domestic violence organization that helps women and children in shelters.
"I want to bring hope to women and children of domestic abuse, and that's what we do," she said.
She also remarried and her husband never brings up the incident with John, she said. They have a 10-year-old daughter and live in Virginia.
"I have a new life now," she said. "I surround myself with positive people."