Tonya Harding Repeats Innocence Claim in Kerrigan Attack (Video)

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 11:27 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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Tonya Harding, the former U.S. figure skater at the center of the 1994 attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, reflected this week on the scandal that rocked the nation 20 years ago this month.

Harding, now 43, spoke with Access Hollywood Wednesday and again maintained her innocence.

"If they proved that I had done something wrong, how come I wasn't in jail? They gave me 500 hours of community service," she said. "They sure nailed everybody else for doing things."

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Kerrigan was physically assaulted after a practice session the night before the 1994 U.S. Figure Skating Championships when a man hit her on the leg with a police baton. It was soon revealed that the man, Shane Stant, was hired by Harding's then-husband Jeff Gillooly and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt.

All three men served prison time and Harding received community service because she reportedly knew about the attack after it happened but failed to report it to police, thus hindering the investigation.

Her story was part of a documentary called "The Price of Gold," which aired on ESPN Jan. 16.

On Wednesday, Harding claimed that she kept quiet about her now-ex-husband's role in the attack because her "woman's virtue was gone."

When asked by Access Hollywood host Billy Bush if that meant she was raped, Harding said, "Read my book and you'll figure it out."

In her 2008 book "The Tonya Tapes," Harding accused Gillooly and two other men of raping her at gunpoint so she would tell police they had nothing to do with the Kerrigan attack.

"He said, 'You will do what I say or I will kill you' . . . You got 10 witnesses and the police standing right there and he's like, 'I'm gonna kill you or I’m gonna break your legs' [and] nobody helps you? Why do you want to help if you can’t get any protection?" she told Bush.

At the time, Gillooly, who has since changed his name to Jeff Stone, denied the rape claim and told police Harding was in on the whole scheme.

Now, Harding says she's moved on with her life.

"I'm married and I have a son . . . I wasn't supposed to have children, so my son is my miracle . . . I love being a mommy," she said.




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