Tonya Harding: After infamous Kerrigan attack, where is she now

Angelo Anderson
January 12, 2018

I mean, my face was bruised.

On Jan. 6, 1994, during a practice session for the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, Kerrigan was clubbed on the right knee with a baton by an assailant. January 12, 1994: Eckardt confesses to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, implicating Harding, Gillooly, and two of Eckardt's friends.

News cameras captured Kerrigan wailing in pain after the attack. After the Olympics, Kerrigan was also recorded at a Disney parade complaining that the event was "the corniest thing [she had] ever done", which added to the tarnishing of her reputation. "Because you know how much that it had to have hurt".

The incident, which became known as "the whack" heard around the world, left Kerrigan's hopes of qualifying for the U.S. Olympic team in jeopardy at the time, though she did make the team in the end. One problem is that the storytelling style and the actors are so revealing in the early going that we don't need the minutaie that has to establish the machinations of the plot.

Harding has been down all her life, but she's never been out - even turning to boxing in 2003 at sites like Tulsa's Creek Nation Gaming Center, a moment briefly depicted in the film.

"[We were] competitors, yes".

The film tells its story through the multiple perspectives of its three main characters: Harding, her now-ex-husband Jeff Gillooly (Sebastian Stan) and her utterly nasty and vicious (and yet very funny) mother LaVona (Alison Janney). There's no doubt that Harding was a victim of Gillooly's violent temper, and her eventual criminal sentence may have been a bit harsh, but I'm not convinced she was quite as innocent as the movie suggests. On the special, Kerrigan said "I never had anything against [Harding] personally, so I don't understand how it all happened".

Worse treatment arrives in the form of Jeff's best friend, Shawn Eckhardt, an overweight schlub and bodyguard with delusions of "I'm a spy" grandeur who opens his mouth throughout the movie for two reasons only: stuffing food into it and saying something idiotic.

"This was, like, a month or two months before [the attack]", Harding continued. Harding's involvement in or awareness of this plan varies depending on whose story you believe.

Do you remember Tonya Harding? February 1, 1994: Gillooly pleads guilty to racketeering in exchange for a 24-month sentence February 10, 1994: Harding sues U.S. Olympic Committee to stop a planned hearing to discuss whether she should participate in the Olympics.

Harding, who was born in Portland, pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution after the attack on Kerrigan. June 30, 1994: Harding is stripped of her 1994 national figure skating title and banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

Written by Steven Rogers (Love the Coopers) and directed by Craig Gillespie (Lars and the Real Girl) in semi-documentary style, à la Martin Scorsese or Adam McKay's The Big Short, the tale of Harding's wrestling match with life, this treatise on class, unfolds authentically, deliberately, ironically. She's proudly "poor and redneck", jogging with bags of dog food hoisted on her back and performing skating routines set to ZZ Top. Their romance is sweet at first, but he soon begins hitting her, especially as Harding's career blossoms. "I respect you for trying to ask these questions". And I've been nothing several times.

"I want to get back and do the things that I loved to do, which were my triples".

Watch ABC News' two-hour special, "Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story", on January 11 at 9 p.m. ET.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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