Tonya Harding in 2009 (left) and Nancy Kerrigan in May 2017
Donald Kravitz/Getty; Rodin Eckenroth/Getty
December 06, 2017 10:05 AM

It was the cry heard ’round the world.

At the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in 1994 – just one month before the Winter Olympics – champion American skater Nancy Kerrigan was brutally clubbed in the knee, leaving her unable to compete.

It was later revealed that the ex-husband and bodyguard of fellow American skater Tonya Harding worked together to hire someone to attack rival skater Kerrigan. Though Harding long disputed her involvement, she was eventually convicted of hindering the investigation into the incident. She received three years probation, 500 hours of community service, and a $160,000 fine — and was ultimately banned from the U.S. Figure Skating Association for life.

Though it’s been over 20 years, the ordeal has lived in pop culture infamy, and will be resurfaced once again in a biopic starring Margot Robbie as the embattled Harding.

I, Tonya opens in select theaters Friday, and also stars Caitlin Carver as Kerrigan, and Sebastian Stan as Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly.

Jen Lowery / Splash

On Tuesday night, Harding surprised fans — and even Robbie herself — when she attended the Los Angeles premiere of the film. The former skater was seen wiping away tears as she posed with Robbie on the red carpet.

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

Allison Janney, who portrays Harding’s mother in the film, admitted she too was starstruck to see Harding at the event, telling PEOPLE “Wow, this is incredible.”


I, Tonya

So where are Harding and Kerrigan these days?

Nancy Kerrigan

Ahead of the 1994 attack, Kerrigan was already an Olympic medalist, and took the bronze in 1992 Games in the Albertville, France. Despite her injury, Kerrigan famously went on to compete in the 1994 Games in Lillehammer, Norway, where she nabbed the silver medal.

She was later inducted in the Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2004, and has even served as a special correspondent during several Olympics.

Andreas Altwein/AP

Now 47, Kerrigan has recently returned to the spotlight, competing on season 24 of Dancing with the Stars. The married mom of three – who danced alongside Artem Chigvintsev – made it to week seven in the popular television competition.

Eric McCandless/ABC Via Getty

“It’s fun to do something new, have a new challenge. I thought it would be really exciting,” Kerrigan told ABC of wanting to join the show.

RELATED VIDEO: Figure Skating Star Nancy Kerrigan Opens Up About Her 6 Miscarriages

And although she enjoyed the experience, Kerrigan — who has also opened up about her six miscarriages — told PEOPLE that her number one focus will always be her family: “My job is being with my kids after school and asking them how their day was.”

Tonya Harding

Harding came from blue-collar roots, raised in rural Oregon, and was only a 21-year-old rising star going into the 1994 Winter Olympics.

Although Harding continually denied her involvement in the scandal, she admitted in a 2008 PEOPLE profile, “Of course I feel guilty for what happened.”

“But I can’t dwell,” she added. “I have to go on living.”

AP Photo/Jack Smith

Life post-scandal proved difficult for Harding. According to the 2008 profile, Harding was arrested twice, once for a DUI, and once attempted suicide. She also released a sex tape with Gillooly, and appeared on Fox’s Celebrity Boxing in 2002, competing against Paula Jones, the former Arkansas state employee who sued President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment.

In 2010, Harding wed Joseph Jens Price. The couple welcomed a son the next year, according to The Oregonian. Her friend Don Horn told the newspaper at the time, “She’s always wanted a baby. She was told she could never have a child … and guess what? It really is a miracle and she really is very happy.”

Now 46, Harding has mostly disappeared from the spotlight, although I, Tonya costar Allison Janney told Andy Cohen during an April appearance on Watch What Happens Live that, “Tonya has been in contact with the writer for the whole [movie].”

Her relationship with Kerrigan, however, never mended.

Kerrigan told ABC she saw Harding at an event in 1998, but they didn’t speak to each other. She also noted that she never received a “direct” apology from Harding.

But, she asked, “Does it matter at this point?”

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