8 Crazy Things You Probably Forgot About the Tonya Harding Scandal
90s Scandals -- Then & Now

Before seeing Margot Robbie portray Harding in critically acclaimed new movie "I, Tonya," catch up on the insane true story.

It was the scandal that rocked the nation, dominating tabloid headlines and the national conversation for months in 1994. In a time before the Internet and social media, everyone knew the names Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding, even if they didn't follow the Olympics or care about figure skating.

Everyone knows the basics of the story, even after all these years. Kerrigan was painted as America's Sweetheart in all the tabloids, innocent victim to mastermind Harding's vicious plot to eliminate her chief competitor for the U.S. Olympic skating team at the 1994 games.

The sensational story dominated the tabloids for months afterward, and even beyond the Olympic games, with updates about the major players in the scandal still hitting the covers for several years.

More than 20 years later, their story is coming to life for a new generation in the film "I, Tonya," starring Margot Robbie as Harding and Caitlin Carver as Kerrigan. Sebastian Stan portrays Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly.

What many have forgotten, though, is just how crazy this story got. Following are are eight wackadoodle things you probably don't remember about the Tonya Harding-Nancy Kerrigan scandal. But first...

The Basics

Harding's ex-husband, Gillooly, hired Shane Stant to attack Kerrigan, who was struck on her landing knee with a police baton after walking off the ice on January 6, 1994, the day before the qualifiers for the 1994 Winter Olympics. While Kerrigan's knee wasn't fractured, there was bruising and swelling and she ultimately withdrew from the qualifiers. Harding came in first at the event.

Gillooly and three other men were quickly sentenced to prison for the attack, with Gillooly alleging that Harding knew about the attack. Harding denied this, and sued the U.S. Olympic Committee when they tried to disqualify her from competing. Kerrigan got the last laugh, though, earning silver at the Olympics. Harding was ultimately allowed to compete, but had to settle for eighth place.

Harding Was Technically Better Than Kerrigan

At the 1991 U.S. Figure Skating Championships, Harding became the first American woman to land a triple axel -- and only the second to attempt it. She would go on to perfect scores in that competition, taking first place. Kerrigan was two spots behind her in third.

From a technical standpoint, many experts agreed that Harding was the better skater. Kerrigan, on the other hand, had a thousand-watt smile and was more graceful and charming on the ice and off, leading to better endorsement deals and more attention.

Harding Has Never Admitted to Knowing Before the Attack

Even as Jeff Gillooly continues to assert that Tonya Harding knew about the attack beforehand, Harding has stood her ground that she had no idea. What Harding did admit, though, was finding out about it shortly after and hindering the investigation into the attack.

She was sentenced to probation, community service and forced to pay a fine. More seriously, she was stripped of her 1994 national championship and handed a lifetime ban from skating in any event sponsored by the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.

The Whole Plot Was Exposed Before the Olympics

Four men were arrested for the attack, including Stant, Gillooly and Harding's bodyguard Shawn Eckardt. Eckardt and Gillooly have both said that Harding was at least aware of, if not fully involved in the plan. After denying any knowledge for weeks, Harding finally admitted she found out shortly after the attack and did not go to the police.

All of this came out in the tabloids in late January, with Americans lining up on either side of the debate. Was Harding a victim of a vicious tabloid news cycle and an abusive upbringing? Was she a bully? And with this debate going on in a very public setting, both women were preparing to represent America together at the Olympics just a few weeks away.

The Attack Was Actually an Epic Fail

The goal of the attack on Kerrigan was to sideline her from the Olympics, so she wouldn't be able to compete against Harding. Kerring had won silver at the 1992 Olymics, so presumably she was seen as a serious threat to keep Harding from medaling.

The attack was so inept, though, that all it did was keep Kerrigan from competing in the qualifiers. But as she'd placed two years prior, a spot was held in reserve for her on the team, and Harding and Kerrigan wound up competing against one another in the 1994 Olympics anyway, practicing on the same ice and sleeping in the same housing unit.

Harding Stopped and Cried Mid-Routine at the Olympics

In the middle of her free skate routine at the 1994 Winter Olympics, Harding stopped and began to cry, telling the judges that her laces had broken and the replacements were too short. This almost cost her a chance to compete, but the judges agreed to allow her to skate a little later on. She wound up coming in seventh in the free skate, and eighth overall at the games.

Kerrigan Skated With Chris Farley on 'SNL'

More beloved than ever after her graceful turn at the Olympics, Kerrigan was invited to host "Saturday Night Live" a month later, among many other accolades poured on her. While she impressed on the ice, though, critics were far harsher regarding her impromptu comedic turn.

The highlight of the episode came in a pre-taped sketch that featured Kerrigan as a skater performing with her husband, portrayed by Farley. The biggest challenge facing the couple was his recent 150-pound weight gain. The sketch was featured on "The Best of Chris Farley."

Harding Tried Music, Boxing, Sold a Sex Tape

Harding stayed in the spotlight as well, for a variety of failed ventures. Banned from skating, she and Gillooly sold a sex tape of themselves to Penthouse magazine for a reported $400,000 later in 1994. She tried her hand at other things like wrestling and singing, but got booed off the stage during her first performance. From 2002-2004, she enjoyed a brief boxing career going 3-3-0.

Harding Went to Jail for Throwing a Hubcap

While she never served any time for the incident involving Kerrigan, Harding did serve time for throwing a hubcap in 2000. While teaching figure skating at a mall near Portland, she was arrested for allegedly throwing a hubcap at her then-boyfriend Darren Silver's face. Her attorney claimed it was a bad reaction to a mixture of alcohol and Zoloft. Harding pleaded guilty and was sentenced to three days in jail.

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