Previously, Nancy Kerrigan was a contestant on Dancing with the Stars and now, her former nemesis, Tonya Harding is a contestant on the all-athletes season 26 edition of the show. So, what is the history behind the two former champion figure-skaters?
In the 1990’s, Kerrigan suffered an attack against her that was heard around the world, with a hitman attacking her leg in hopes of injuring her, which he accomplished. The attack was reportedly orchestrated in connection to fellow skating competitor, at the time, Tonya Harding. Decades after the attack, the incident seems to be one of the biggest things that Kerrigan is known for and her husband, Jerry Solomon, still has resentment over it. In an interview with Daily Mail, Solomon explained that, “There is a lingering frustration for us both about the whole episode. Nancy is an athlete who went to two Olympics and earned two medals, a very rare accomplishment in skating. Instead of being remembered for that, she is remembered for this bizarre incident.” Have a look at the footage from the incident below.
This past year, actress Margot Robbie starred as Tonya Harding in an Oscar-nominated biopic about the incident, as reported by E! News. The biopic is titled I, Tonya.
Jeff Gillooly, one of Harding’s ex-husbands, was sentenced in 1994 to two years in prison, for playing a part in the orchestration of the attack on Kerrigan. Gillooly and Harding’s bodyguard, Shawn Eckhardt, reportedly hired a third man to hit Kerrigan in the knee after a practice session in Detroit, Michigan, which he did. Both Gillooly and Eckhardt have since changed their names. Gillooly, who now goes by the last name “Stone,” plead guilty to racketeering, according to the Daily Mail. Those involved in the incident were reported to be Shawn Eckardt, Shane Stant and Derrick Smith, along with Gillooly.
According to Hello Giggles, the knee attack happened just days before the 1994 U.S. Women’s Championships.
Harding and Gillooly married in 1990 and divorced in 1993, with Harding citing abuse allegations, as reported by Hello Giggles. Harding was just 19 years old when the two tied the knot. At the time, Gillooly worked as a conveyer belt operator, who also worked as Harding’s manager. After getting divorced, the ex-couple got back together, but they ultimately split after the Kerrigan attack.
In the book “The Tonya Tapes,” which came out in 2008, Harding reportedly said that after Kerrigan’s attack, Gillooly and his “goons” urged her silence and allegedly raped her at gunpoint. Gillooly has denied the claims.
Today, Harding has an estranged relationship with her mother, but she has built a family with her third husband and her son, Gordon Price. She and husband Joseph Price married on June 23, 2010, and they have no other kids. In an interview with the New York Times, Harding said that she actually met her current husband when he was singing karaoke, and she was captured by his eyes.
As for what Price has to say about his wife, he told Inside Edition, “She’s kind, she loving, she’s a little rough around the edges. She’s a redneck, but she’s my redneck.”