Tonya Harding says there's two things I, Tonya got wrong about her.

I, Tonya has already been named one of the best movies of 2018.

The movie is such a phenomenon even Tonya Harding is a fan… to a point.

The biopic tells the “irony-free, wildly contradictory” story of Harding, a polarising Olympic figure skater from the “wrong side of the tracks”.

In the early 1990s, Harding made headlines around the world when her on-ice rival, Nancy Kerrigan, was kneecapped just before the 1994 US Figure Skating Championships.

It was eventually revealed that Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly, and his dodgy friend, Shawn Eckhardt, were behind the attack.

While Harding (played by Margot Robbie in the movie) maintained she had nothing to do with it, she was vilified by the media and the wider public. And the scandal ultimately put an end to her figure skating career.

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I, Tonya paints a broader picture of Harding. It takes us behind the headlines to see the real person at the centre of the scandal.

But it doesn’t go easy on Harding. If anything, it depicts her as a complex person who made a lot of bad decisions.

That’s why it’s such a surprise that the former Olympian is such a fan. For the most part, she loves it.

Speaking to the New York Times, Harding described the movie as “magnificent” but she said it did get a couple of things wrong.


Firstly, she said the movie was edited to make it look like she hunted rabbits to make her own fur coat.

According to Harding, she bought that fur coat. She said she loves fur coats and now has two. One is a mink coat that she would have liked to have worn to the premieres of the movie, but she knew she would be attacked by animal rights activists.

Secondly, Harding says she doesn’t actually have a potty mouth like the movie made out.

“Trust me I don’t say the word [expletive] 120 times a day. That might come out once in a while when something really bad happens or I hurt myself. I mean, the movie portrayed me as this person who cussed every 10 seconds and I don’t cuss like that.”

Harding also said the scene where she confronts the table of judges and quips, “Suck my d**k”, never actually happened.

“I would never say that,” she told the New York Times.

“I did not go to the judges on the ice and talk to them like that in front of everyone.

“When I spoke to the judges they were in the back hallway room telling me you need to have better dresses. I go, ‘Well if you can find me $5,000 to make me a dress then I’ll wear it and I won’t have to sew these anymore.’ I go, ‘You know what? Out of my face!’”

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The former figure skating champion also said the domestic violence we saw in the movie was just a snippet of the horror she endured.

“People don’t understand that what you guys see in the movie is nothing,” she said. “That was the smallest little bits and pieces. I mean, my face was bruised. My face was put through a mirror, not just broken onto it. Through it. I was shot. That was true.”

Harding says she was injured when Gillooly shot at the ground and the bullet ricocheted onto her face (Gillooly has always denied this). And she says her mother (played by Allison Janney in the movie) once stabbed her with a knife (her mum has also denied this).

The now 47-year-old is relieved she’s finally been able to tell her own side of the story. She doesn’t want people to watch the movie and ultimately decide whether she’s innocent or guilty, she just wants them to finally understand the mitigating circumstances.

Harding had a hard life. She was beaten, rejected, beaten again. Figure skating, the one thing she wanted more than anything else in the world, didn’t even want her and eventually kicked her out.

That’s why Harding loved this movie – it told her story, warts, frizzy hair, unrelenting determination and all.

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