It sympathetically explains she was ostracised for her rough edges and working class background, and details the alleged abuse she suffered at the hands of her mother LaVona and her moustachioed husband Jeff Giloolly.
I, Tonya has turned into the Tonya Harding comeback tour. Banned from ever skating competitively again in the aftermath of the attack against her rival, Harding became the punchline everyone thought she was, floating from a short-lived boxing career to working as a hardware salesperson to commentating on dumb videos. Somewhere in there was a sex tape.
There was no endorsement money and no love for the first American woman to complete a triple axel jump in competition. Harding, now legally named Tonya Price after she married her third husband, is being feted. Amid this Harding redemption arc is the other victim, a more victimy victim, if you will: Harding and Kerrigan do their best to ignore each other during a practice session at the Olympics, mere weeks after the attack on Kerrigan.
As you say, I was the victim. He struck her hard on the knee and she collapsed. The actor who played Kerrigan, Caitlin Carver, was on screen for about two minutes in total and had exactly one line: Kerrigan was heavily bruised and swollen but was able to recover in time and still win a silver medal in Lillehammer. Harding had a mediocre skate and came in eighth. As early as the Olympics medal ceremony, the public started to turn on Kerrigan.
While waiting for the Ukrainian gold medallist Oksana Baiul, Kerrigan was caught on a hot mic complaining Baiul was taking too long to get ready. As recently as this month, Harding still characterised that moment as Kerrigan whining: She received death threats. Endorsement deals were axed and a movie project of her life was cancelled. Kerrigan never competitively skated again.
There was always a perception that Kerrigan, a Massachusetts native, came from a well-heeled background of East Coast elites.
In reality, she was also from a working class family. Her father was a welder and worked several jobs to fund her skating. The difference was, by all accounts, her family was genuinely supportive. Kerrigan faced her own family dramas in when her father died of a heart attack during a physical altercation with her brother Mark. Mark was arrested and charged with involuntary manslaughter — he was later convicted of assault and battery and sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Kerrigan in after her brother was convicted.
AP Kerrigan said she has never received a direct apology from Harding. There are only two people left who know the truth of what Harding knew and when — Harding and Giloolly.
Kerrigan married her former agent Jerry Solomon and had three kids. She appeared on Saturday Night Live, had a cameo in Blades of Glory and a Kardashian Christmas special, and produced a documentary on eating disorders in sports. She skated in ice shows including an adaptation of Footloose, served as a correspondent during the Olympics and competed in Dancing with the Stars last year.
She has two Olympic medals, was the US figure skating champion and won a bronze at the World Championship, but is still regarded by many as only famous because of the scandal. Who in their right mind would ask to be attacked? I would never wish that on anyone. If I could change it, of course I would. Share your movies and TV obsessions with wenleima on Twitter.