Harding says she overheard ex-husband and friend talking about ‘taking somebody out’ to ensure her place on 1994 U.S. Olympic team.
That, actually, was not the case, Harding said in Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story that aired on ABC on Thursday night. In fact, she said she basically figured out that her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and his friend, Shawn Eckardt, had likely been behind the plot to attack Kerrigan shortly after she won the U.S. figure skating title.
Harding stuck to her story that she’s repeated for 24 years now: She had no role in planning the attack. In part of the interview that ran on Good Morning America earlier this week, Harding, however, said she did overhear Gillooly and Eckardt talking about “taking somebody out” to ensure Harding made the 1994 U.S. Olympic team.
“It popped in my head two or three days after we got back (that Gillooly and Eckardt were involved),” Harding said in part of the interview that didn’t run until the two-hour special Thursday night.
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The special comes as I, Tonya, a sympathetic look at Harding’s life that is in theaters, has received critical acclaim.
But Harding’s mother isn’t fan.
“I don’t give a (expletive) about the movie,” said LaVona “Sandy” Golden, who was played by Allison Janney in the movie. “I don’t care how it portrays me. I could care less about that movie than the dirt outside.”
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Janney, who won the best supporting actress in a motion picture at the Golden Globes on Sunday, portrayed Golden as a physically and mentally abusive mother.
Golden admitted to using a hairbrush to “spank” Harding at a competition, but denied she was habitually abusive toward Harding. Golden also denied she ever threw a steak knife that struck Harding in the arm during an argument.
“Take a lie detector (expletive),” Harding said in response to her mother’s denials.
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Kerrigan bristled during her short segment on the special when asked if her popularity is owed to the attack in Detroit.
“I have two Olympics medals,” Kerrigan said. “They didn’t just give them to me. I worked hard for it. Who in their right mind would ask to be attacked? I would never wish that anyone. If I could change that, would I? Of course I would.”
Harding didn’t deny the incident helped create more of a buzz around U.S. women’s figure skating.
“Sure. Why not?” Harding said. “I mean, I was there. I skated.”
Harding was convicted of hindering the prosecution in the aftermath of the attack on Kerrigan. She was spared prison time, unlike Gillooly, Eckardt and two men who carried out the attack (Shane Stant and getaway driver Derrick Smith).
“Enough apologizing,” Harding said. “She has her life. I have my life. We both have wonderful lives. That should be all that matters.”
PHOTOS: Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan
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