Tonya Harding, Nancy Kerrigan, and the horrific incident that forever bound their names together, will be the subject of an upcoming documentary at NBC, to air during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
TheWrap reported on NBC’s plans to document the attack — lead-up and aftermath — noting that new interviews would be conducted with both former female figure skaters.
(Unfortunately, no idea if that will be a simultaneous interview, though we would assume not given the history between the pair. The new interviews will be conducted by Mary Carillo.)
In 1994, Harding’s career was in its twilight years as she eyed a possible trip to Lillehammer for the Winter Olympics. Statuesque rising star Nancy Kerrigan was a major obstacle, and Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, with whom she was living, collaborated with friend (and Harding bodyguard) Shawn Eckardt to break Kerrigan’s leg.
On the evening of January 6, 1994 — the night before the US Figure Skating Championships were to determine who got the Lillehammer nod — a third player, hired by Gillooly and Eckardt, named Shane Stant was said to have clubbed Nancy Kerrigan a few inches above the knee with a police baton.
“The Whack Heard Round The World,” as it would come to be known, only bruised Kerrigan’s leg. She would go on to Lillehammer and win the Silver Medal, while Tonya Harding placed eighth.
Tonya Harding has continually denied involvement in the plot, and ultimately, it was Gillooly, Eckardt, and Stant, who took the brunt of the blame.
Still, Harding admitted that she did know about it, but was gang-raped into silence.
A passage from the 2008 book The Tonya Tapes: “‘Jeff and two other guys —- don’t know who they were because I couldn’t see who they were -— they were in a different car -— decided to drive me up to the mountains, put a gun to my head, and take themselves upon me … They told me, this is what you are going to say. This is what you are going to do, and if you don’t, you’re not going to be here anymore.'”
Gillooly, who has since changed his name to Jeff Stone, called the claim “utterly ridiculous” in previous comments to Today.com.
As for the life of Tonya Harding since the attack, the former figure skater has boxed professionally (I guess), released a sex tape, and briefly served as a professional wrestling valet.
In the Today.com interview to promote her book, she said she viewed herself as successful. “To me success is having inner peace and being happy, and that’s where I’m at… When you go to hell and come back, there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.”
Here’s a clip from one of her most recent interviews:
In 2014, six years after those comments, we’ll get to find out if she’s still at peace. This should be a good one, even if you’re not a big fan of the Olympics.
Unfortunately, Nancy Kerrigan has continued to experience her share of tragedy. An event in 2010 left her father dead and her brother arrested for assault and battery on a person over 60.
Do you think Tonya Harding had anything more to do with the attack on Nancy Kerrigan at the 1994 Winter Olympics?
[Image via Tonya Harding website]