Tonya Harding now: 20 years after the Nancy Kerrigan attack


20 years ago, on January 6, 1994, ice skater Nancy Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee, resulting in an injury that took her out of the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, and ballooned into a massive scandal. As more details of the mysterious attack came to light, fellow skater Tonya Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly was found to have arranged for some men to break Kerrigan’s leg to take her out of the competition.

Kerrigan’s leg was bruised, not broken, and both she and Tonya qualified for the Olympic team. A recovered Kerrigan won a silver medal behind Oksana Baiul, but Tonya finished eighth after performing poorly. During one performance, Tonya broke down in tears while on the ice:


ESPN’s documentary film series 30 for 30 is devoting an episode, titled “The Price of Gold,” to catching up with Tonya Harding. At the time Tonya denied any involvement in the attack, and now 43-year-old Tonya still claims she had nothing to do with it.

“I just couldn’t believe what was being said and stuff,” Harding says on the ESPN doc. “I never met or talked to–didn’t even know the other person involved.”

She also says that the constant media attention interfered with her ability to train properly. “Trying to train in front of everyone was so much mania. Every time I’d jump they would all flash, I would fall on my face and hurt myself a couple of times. It just started becoming really impossible just to even concentrate on anything.”

Even though she claimed she knew nothing about the plan until it happened, she was permanently banned from figure skating two months after the incident when she pled guilty to hindering the prosecution by not reporting what she knew after the fact.

Tonya married Gillooly in 1990, when she was only 19, and their marriage was over by 1993. She then briefly married second husband Michael Smith, who she divorced in 1995. She now has a two-year-old son with husband Joseph Jens Price, who she married June 23, 2010. Shortly after the Kerrigan incident, Tonya released a sex tape called “Wedding Video,” of herself and ex-husband Gillooly, and has had a run of attempts at trying out various careers. She’s tried to be an actress, a singer, a wrestler, and a boxer. For a while, starting in 2008, she had a regular gig as a commentator on the TruTV show World’s Dummbest.


Tonya’s had several run-ins with the law over the years, including being booked in 2000 for domestic violence for punching and throwing a hubcap at a former boyfriend Darren Silver.


Earlier this year Nancy Kerrigan, now a mother of three, spoke out about both the 1994 incident, and the situation surrounding her father’s death. In 2010 her father died after a fight with his son, and Nancy’s brother, Mark. Although the family stands by the theory that their 70-year-old father had a pre-existing heart condition that caused his death, Mark was sentenced to 2 and a half years in prison for assault and battery and involuntary manslaughter. He’s out now, and is working a job, according to Nancy.

“He shouldn’t have been charged,” Kerrigan told Matt Lauer on The Today Show. “My dad had a heart attack and that’s that. Since then, we did the same thing we’ve always done — take things one thing at a time, and you get through it. Life’s challenging and hard, and we stick together and move on.”

After watching footage of herself getting hurt, Kerrigan commented: “Watching anything sort of horrific, it’s disturbing to see anybody in pain. To think it’s me…It’s a lifetime ago. It hurts to see anybody in such pain. It’s a long time ago. I just moved on.”

The Price of Gold airs Thursday, January 16, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN

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  • Larissa

    I’m confused, can someone explain please? You’re pointing out the Tonya “broke down in tears” but that was because she couldn’t perform properly due to the skate lace malfunction right? cuz it sounds like you’re saying she broke down because she was guilty for what happened to Nancy. I’m confused can someone explain please?

    • sarahiam

      Yes the reason she broke down in tears was because the shoelace on her skate was broken so she couldn’t skate well.

    • Guest

      I get the feeling with her endless skate and costume malfunctions, her frustration may have stemmed from the fact that she was under a lot of pressure but also because one of the fiercest competitors she was having to face was still able to not only compete against her but best her in doing so despite her ex’s shitty plan to make it easier for her to win by removing Kerrigan from the sport. She doesn’t seem to be that motivated to achieve anything through plain old hard work given her track record for not taking responsibility for anything and I don’t really buy for a second that she didn’t have at least an idea of what was being planned for Kerrigan.

      • Benjamin A

        did you know Tanya Harding has 14
        medals from national and international championships, 1 of which she was stripped of? That’s 14 bronze, silver, and gold medals. They only hold these events once a year. 6 of them are gold by the way (and the +1 would make it 7). She’s the 1st woman to land a triple axle in
        competition, and still only 1 of 2 women. It’s 3 1/2 spins and done
        from the front position which is harder. She’s done quadruple toe
        loops. She had the best jumps in 20 years, if not ever, and was very
        artistic also. She was the most athletic female skater of the time,
        and brought more athleticism to the sport. She was the highest jumper, and fastest spinner, and set records. All time records. A number of medals. Only a few people get to go to the Olympics, and even fewer have the timing and even luck, to pull off their best performance there. But 4 years of national and international events
        tell more, and all the years between.

      • mplo

        I have a very hard time believing that Tonya Harding herself WAS NOT behind the planning and masterminding of the attack on Nancy Kerrigan 20 years ago this past January.

        First of all, Tony had already made a name for herself in the figure-skating world, at a very young age, Nancy Kerrigan was edging in on her, and Tonya felt somewhat threatened by Kerrigan’s edging in on her.

        Secondly, Tonya’s father said that Tonya really wanted to beat Kerrigan and get the gold metal in competition.

        Thirdly, Tonya Harding herself had been heard to say “I’m gonna kick Nancy Kerrigan’s butt in the competition.” That’s something that’s just not done in a competition, imho.

        Tonya’s got a long, long history of not takng responsibility for her own actions and behaviors, or for holding herself accountable for what she did, or what she was involved in/with.

        Next, Tonya DID commit a crime; obstructing the prosecution, and justice; inotherwords, she knew about it, and tried to cover up. I also saw an interview with Tonya Harding on Fox News, and it was clear that Tonya was lying her ass off.

        She threw a very promising figure-skating career out the window…all because of her own stupidity.

  • Pnw Vnc

    She’s a nutcase.. I’m surprised this article didn’t mention her bi weekly calls to the cops for people trying to kill her/on her property/beating her up etc… She lives in my town see her at my Starbucks. She’s a very polite nice person I have enjoyed coffee w her but I do believe she has demons she hasn’t dealt with.

  • Sliverfox

    Holy crap did she age BAD!
    Why are we still talking about this skank and this is her clam to fame.
    Nobody cares.