The iconic ‘90s and former Olympian ice skater Tonya Harding showed the shady side to one of the most notorious scandals of that decade. Inspired by her story, "I, Tonya," a critically acclaimed film followed.
Harding’s ice skating career got overshadowed by a mastermind shady plan to take her direct competitor, Nancy Kerrigan off the 1994 Lillehammer Olympics.
The former Olympian Tonya Harding insisted she had no involvement in the attacks, her ex-husband though, Jeff Gillooly contradicted her statement on a testimony to the FBI.
The back story behind the masterplan to ruin Nancy Kerrigan career. | Source: Getty Images
The whole story made to tabloids worldwide, cutting short Harding’s career. In 2017, a biopic movie starring Margot Robbie as Tonya Harding and Sebastian Stan playing Jeff Gillooly was released.
Despite the debate that the facts depicted in Seth Rogen’s version of the story was in fact accurate or not -- in “I, Tonya,” Harding isn’t linked with the planning nor with the executions of the attacks on Nancy Karrigan whatsoever.
Former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding speaks to reporters about her sentencing, as she exits the Camus/Washougal Municipal Court on August 8, 2002 in Camus, Washington. | Source: Getty Images
What’s irrefutable though, it’s Gillooly’s participation in the plot. The leg-smashing plot included Harding's bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt, getaway driver Derrick Smith, and the man who allegedly attacked Kerrigan, Shane Stant.
Jeff Gillooly changed his surname and shaved his staple mustache after being released from prison. He remarried a woman he’d previously met in 1991 and now lives in a small town in Oregon.
HARDING AND GILLOOLY’S SHADY RELATIONSHIP
onya Harding (L) and Margot Robbie attend Premiere Of Neon And 30 West’s I, Tonya" at the Egyptian Theatre on December 5, 2017 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images
The former Olympian and Jeff Gillooly had a stormy relationship right from the jump. They met when Harding was only 15 years old and Gillooly two years her senior and they tied the knot four years later.
The man became violent, and Harding attempted to file for divorce twice, without success. They finally made it official in 1993, a year after Nancy Kerrigan was attacked.
THE ATTACK ON NANCY KERRIGAN
onya Harding (front) of the United States and compatriot Nancy Kerrigan skate during a practice session 22 February 1994 in Hamar, near Lillehammer, at the XVIIth Winter Olympic Games. | Source: Getty Images
Harding’s most prominent competitor, Nancy Kerrigan was officially attacked by Shane Stant on January 6, 1994, in the right knee. According to ABC News, Derek Smith and Shane Stant were both hired by Gillooly and Eckhardt to commit the crime.
Harding still denies to this day her involvement in the attack, even though many people believe, including the FBI that she knew:
"I had no prior knowledge of the planned assault on Nancy Kerrigan."
Tony Harding (L) of the US, with her lawyer Bob Weaver (R), in Multnomah County circuit court in December, 1995. | Source: Gett Images
The former Olympian has a long list of awards and accomplishments before she got banned for life by the U.S. Figure Skating Association into competing as an ice skater professionally.
Some of the awards include several medals in the USFSA women's championships, fourth place, in the Albertville Winter Olympics and Silver medal, World Figure Skating championships.
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