Connie Culp was shot in the face by her husband of 25 years, Thomas, after he flew into a jealous rage.
Thomas was convicted of attempted aggravated murder and sentenced to just seven years in prison. In December of 2008, Connie made medical history when she became the first person in the United States to receive a face transplant. The operation at Cleveland Clinic lasted 22 hours. Eight surgeons replaced 80 percent of Connie's face.
Since then, she's had even more surgeries and not only has a new face, but a new chance to rebuild her life. Just recently, her ex-husband was released from prison.
In a letter Thomas released to the media, he says, "We loved each other more than anybody I know. The public doesn't get it. The shooting was accidental. I totally understand why people believe I'm a monster. I'm not. I'm not a monster."
In studio, Anderson says it seems like Thomas thinks he is the victim and that he senses Connie is defending his behavior. "I always have," says Connie. "Because I know his whole life, like growing up, everything."
Anderson asks Connie if there is a part of her that still has feeling for him. Watch her shocking answer...
After being shot in the face by her husband of 25 years, it took over 15 surgeries and almost seven years for Connie Culp to finally divorce him.
Why did Connie stay in this abusive relationship for so long? Hear her answer...
Also, on the show, "Basketball Wives" star Tanya Williams, estranged wife of former NBA star Jayson Williams, talks about the abuse she lived with and covered up for years -- abuse that led her to sleep with a knife under her bed to protect her family from their father.
"I slept with a knife under my bed," says Tanya. "Out of fear because I didn't know who was walking into my bedroom. He (Jayson) would go out consistently for a period of time, and when he came in, I didn't know who was walking in my door. Was it the Jayson I had fallen in love with 20 years ago, or was it the Jayson who was going to come in and be upset with me because his life was in the toilet?"
Watch Tanya discuss how keeping a knife nearby became normal for her..
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is a powerful weapon in the fight against abuse. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, call 1-800-799-SAFE. This number links you to a domestic violence advocate who can connect you to the nearest domestic violence center in your area. The call is totally anonymous. It's untraceable. The first step is picking up the phone and calling for help. Please take that first step.
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