Is Tonya Harding Really Competing on DWTS? 'God Knows, She Gets Ratings,' Source Says
Tonya Harding, Adam Rippon and Jamie Anderson have reportedly signed on for Dancing with the Stars: Athletes
The all-athletes season of Dancing with the Stars has reportedly signed the most controversial name in figure skating.
Tonya Harding will compete on the reality show, according to Entertainment Tonight and Us Weekly, along with two stand-outs from the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea: skater Adam Rippon (who was the first openly gay U.S. Olympian and won a bronze medal) and snowboarder Jamie Anderson (who won gold and silver medals). A source confirms to PEOPLE that Rippon, 28, and Anderson, 27, will compete, though ABC cannot confirm the cast until the April 13 announcement.
A separate source who has known Harding, 47, for years tells PEOPLE that she’s capable of learning to ballroom dance but risks being compared to skating rival Nancy Kerrigan, who appeared on season 24 of DWTS last year, placing sixth.
Still, “Tonya gets ratings. God knows, she gets ratings,” the source says.
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RELATED VIDEO: Tonya Harding ‘Was Involved Up to Her Neck’ in the Nancy Kerrigan Attack, Says Oregon DA
Seven weeks before the 1994 Olympic Winter Games, a man later identified as Shane Stant clubbed Kerrigan on the knee with a baton after she walked off the ice during practice for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
Tonya Harding in 1994
Though she was injured and briefly withdrew from competition to recuperate, Kerrigan was well enough to compete in the Olympics, where she earned a silver medal in women’s singles. (Harding came in eighth.)
Nancy Kerrigan after the attack
Nancy Kerrigan in 1994
The attack was arranged by Harding’s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, along with Brian Sean Griffith (then named Shawn Eckardt) and his friend Derrick Smith, who drove the getaway car. Gillooly and Eckhart pleaded guilty to racketeering for their involvement in the incident. Gillooly was sentenced to two years in prison and a fine of $100,000. Eckardt, Stant and Smith were sentenced to 18 months each in prison with no fines.
Harding denied having any involvement in the attack but pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution. She had to pay a $160,000 fine and was sentenced to three years’ probation and 500 hours community service. She was also banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association.