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Tonya Harding says she knew ‘something was up’ before attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan

By Megan Cerullo • Jan 3, 2018 at 10:00 AM

Former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding admitted to knowing “something was up” in the months before the attack on her teammate and rival Nancy Kerrigan in a new interview nearly 25 years after the scandal.

Harding has long maintained she neither knew about nor agreed to ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and his friend Shawn Eckardt’s plan to bash Kerrigan’s knee with a baton.

But in a clip from Harding’s interview with ABC News released Tuesday, she admitted to overhearing the pair plotting a possible attack.

“I did, however, overhear them talking about stuff, where, ‘Well maybe we should take somebody out so we can make sure she gets on the team.’ And I remember telling them, I go, ‘What the hell are you talking about? I can skate,’” Harding told ABC News.

“This was, like, a month or two months before (the attack),” Harding said. “But they were talking about skating and saying, ‘Well, maybe somebody should be taken out so then, you know, she can make it.’”

Kerrigan was clubbed in the knee during a practice session for the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit.

The assailant was found to have been hired by Gillooly and Eckardt.

Both men have since changed their names.

News cameras captured Kerrigan shrieking in pain after the attack.

“It makes you cringe, hearing it,” Harding said in the interview. “Because you know how much that it had to have hurt.”

Gillooly and Eckardt both pleaded guilty to racketeering and were sentenced to prison.

Harding denied being involved in the attack but pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution.

She was fined $160,000, sentenced to three years’ probation and 500 hours of community service.

She was banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association for life.

The interview follows the release of “I, Tonya,” starring actress Margot Robbie about Harding’s life.

“Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story” will air on Jan. 11.


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