Tonya Harding‘s mother, LaVona “Sandy” Golden, did not mince her words when she spoke about her notorious Olympian daughter in a new interview.
“She’s lied so much she doesn’t know what isn’t a lie anymore,” Golden told ABC’s Amy Robach during the two-hour special “Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story” that aired Thursday night.
Golden and Harding’s tumultuous relationship is a central theme in the new biopic about Harding’s life, I, Tonya, but Golden believes she is nothing like the at-times abusive screen version of her, played by Allison Janney.
“I didn’t abuse any of my children,” Golden said. “Spanked? Yes, spanked. Absolutely positively, you got to show them right from wrong.”
Harding alleges that her mother once threw a steak knife at her, which stuck in her forearm. The alleged incident is depicted in the film.
“Why would I throw a steak knife at anybody?” Golden said.
Harding, who became the first American female figure skater to land a triple axel jump in competition, said her mother regularly abused her and once “dragged me into the bathroom and beat me with a hairbrush, literally.”
“I spanked her once with a hairbrush at a competition,” responded Golden, adding, “She wouldn’t know what a beating was.”
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When asked by Robach what kind of mother Golden was, Harding, 47, also did not hold back: “Not a good one.”
Golden, a former waitress, begged to differ. She told Robach that she worked three jobs so Harding could take skating lessons and disputed Harding’s claims that she grew up on the wrong side of the tracks.
“We were never trailer trash,” she said in the interview. “We had a beautiful new trailer. We didn’t live in filth or dirt or anything that I would call unusual.”
When asked what she thought about I, Tonya, a darkly comic take on her horrendous relationship with her daughter that also covers Harding’s role in the 1994 attack on rival Nancy Kerrigan, Golden said:
“I could care less about the movie than I do about the dirt outside.”
During the special, Golden also denied Harding’s claim that she drank a thermos in the mornings that was half coffee and half brandy before she took her daughter to school.
“I would have coffee and sometimes I would put brandy flavoring in it. I love brandy flavoring. You can’t get drunk on flavoring. Sorry to disappoint you,” Golden said.
During the interview, Harding said she had no plans to have a relationship with her mother or for her mother to have a relationship with Harding’s 7-year-old son, Gordon.
“I don’t want her anywhere near me. I don’t want her anywhere near my son,” said Harding. “She wants forgiveness. She wants to see me. She wants to make amends. She wants to meet and be part of the family. Hell no.”