I, Tonya retells the story of Harding’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly’s plot to injure Kerrigan so that the figure skater would not be able to compete in the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Gillooly hired assailant Shane Stant to strike Kerrigan’s leg with a police baton that January. The violent attack, which became one of the biggest scandals in U.S. sports history, bruised but didn’t break Kerrigan’s leg. She went on to win a silver medal at the Olympics the following month.
Harding, now 47, accepted a plea deal for her role in the attack and did not serve jail time. However, she was forced to withdraw from the 1994 World Figure Skating Championships and was later banned for life from the United States Figure Skating Association.
Though Kerrigan, 48, has yet to see I, Tonya, it has already received the stamp of approval from Harding. “She watched the film,” director Craig Gillespie exclusively told Us Weekly in November. “I’m sure it’s hard to be objective when looking at one’s own life, but I am told she is happy with it.”
The movie stars Margot Robbie as Harding, Sebastian Stan as Gillooly, Allison Janney as Harding’s mother and Caitlin Carver as Kerrigan. It has already received critical acclaim, and was named one of Us’ top movies of the year. Harding joined Robbie, 27, on the red carpet at the Los Angeles premiere on Tuesday, December 5.
I, Tonya hits theaters on Friday, December 8.