Kim Hill told the Daily Mirror Philpott snuck into her bedroom in the house in Spondon, Derbyshire, she shared with her mother after she sent him a letter breaking their engagement. Philpott served seven years in prison for the attack.
"I'll never forget his eyes as he attacked me -- he is pure evil," she said. "I'm lucky to be alive after what he did to me."
Prosecutors planned to use Hill as a witness at Philpott's manslaughter trial, but the judge ruled the crime was too far in the past. Philpott, 56, and his wife, Mairead, 31, were convicted Tuesday of six counts of manslaughter for setting their home in Derby on fire in an effort to frame a girlfriend who had left him.
The couple and a friend, Paul Mosley, 46, who was also convicted, are to be sentenced Wednesday.
Under English legal procedure, Hill's story could not be published during the trial.
Hill said Philpott, then a 21-year-old soldier, also stabbed her mother. She said her body is still scarred and she continues to get counseling 35 years later.
Philpott clearly intended to kill her, Hill said. She said he told her if he could not have her no one else would.
"I couldn't walk and then I just fell on the floor and he was attacking me again," she said. "The next thing I knew I was in hospital over a week later."
Philpott was tried in Nottingham Court, just as he was 35 years later, and convicted of grievous bodily harm.