Tonya Harding Talks "Truth and Lies" In New Emotional Interview

It's been 23 years since the "whack around the world" took place on January 6, 1994, seven weeks before the Olympic Winter Games were scheduled to begin, but the world can't seem to look past it.

On that fateful day, a hitman attacked figure skater Nancy Kerrigan with a police baton in an attempt to debilitate her. Upon further investigation, it was revealed that the assailant was hired by a man named Jeff Gillooly, who happened to be the ex-husband of Kerrigan's rival, Tonya Harding.


It didn't take long for the public to start speculating about Harding's involvement. Harding claimed that she had no idea that Gillooly and her bodyguard, Shawn Eckhart, were planning an attack on her teammate. She said that they didn't do it to take Kerrigan out of the competition, but rather to punish her for taking the USFA's advice and rekindling her doomed relationship with Gillooly for publicity.

Harding was later charged for hindering apprehension and she ended up pleaded guilty. She was placed on a three-year probation plus 500 hours of community service. She also received a $100,000 fine, and was banned from the USFA for life.


Once the frenzy died down, Kerrigan and Harding had to return back to their normal lives. While Kerrigan's career continued to thrive, Tonya's reputation was ruined and she was forced out of the limelight.

It took a few years for her to slowly bounce back, she gave a few interviews, including a joint one with Kerrigan, penned a book about her side of the story, tried her hand at boxing, and even appeared on a documentary in the early 2000s.

More recently, the disgraced skater is back in the spotlight thanks to a new critically acclaimed biopic about her life. Starring Margot Robbie, I, Tonya, re-tells the story from Harding's perspective. Margot even received a Golden Globe nomination for her portrayal of Harding.

Clubhouse Pictures

Harding even made an official public appearance for the first time in years at the Los Angeles premiere of the film on December 5th. Now, she's been given the chance to sit down and reflect about the infamous incident in an emotional two-hour ABC "Truth and Lies" special.

In the upcoming exclusive interview, Harding still maintains her innocence, and remarked that there are people who still believe that she was the one who hit Kerrigan.

She also blames the media for getting her "convicted" because they painted her as a villain from the start.

"The media had me convicted of doing something wrong before I had even done anything at all. I'm always the bad person," she tells ABC News's Amy Robach.

NY Daily News

Harding credits her "faith" for helping her get through the rough times, and for helping her "be something worth being proud of."

"Is it a challenge from the lord to see how far I can be pushed until I break and become nothing?" she asks. "You can't push me that far anymore because I've been nothing and I've been nothing several times."

She recalls the desire to have her father be proud of her, but now her focus is on making her son feel proud.

"I always wanted my daddy to be proud and now I want my son to be proud," Harding tearfully admits.


When asked if she still cares what people think, Harding initially replied with a "no," before admitting that she does.

You can watch the preview clip below:

Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story airs on ABC on Jan. 11 at 9 p.m. ET.

Blair isn't a bestselling author, but she has a knack for beautiful prose. When she isn't writing for Shared, she enjoys listening to podcasts.