Nancy Kerrigan’s Violent Knee Attack Reenacted in ‘Scandal Made Me Famous: Tonya Harding’ Sneak Peek


So much for friendly competition. The violent 1994 attack on Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is reenacted on the Scandal Made Me Famous: Tonya Harding special airing Saturday, December 10, as seen in Us Weekly‘s exclusive sneak peek.

The Reelz episode’s preview clip revisits the lead-up to the infamous moment when Shane Stant struck Kerrigan’s knee with a baton on January 6, 1994. Stant had been hired by Tonya Harding‘s ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, and her bodyguard Shawn Eckardt to break the athlete’s leg in an effort to keep her out of the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

Nancy Kerrigan
Nancy Kerrigan wins first place at the 1993 U.S. Figure Skating Nationals in Phoenix Feb. 8, 1993. Getty Images

As actors portray the key figures involved in the crime, a narrator describes the scene: “Shane Stant’s uncle Derrick Smith has joined him in Detroit. The two men go over the attack and how they’ll get away.”

“By disabling Tonya’s chief competitor, they all believe they’ll benefit financially in different ways,” the voiceover continues.

Nancy Kerrigan attack
Tonya Harding’s bodyguard Shawn Eckardt (left) and fellow defendant Derrick Smith (right) are joined by Smith’s attorney Robert Goffredi Jan. 14, 1994, as Eckardt and Smith are arraigned on charges of conspiracy to commit assault in the attack on skater Nancy Kerrigan. CHRIS WILKINS/AFP/Getty Images

Senior crime reporter Steve Helling adds, “Meanwhile, Tonya is in her hotel room in Detroit, and Jeff is across the country at home in Portland. Both are anxiously awaiting the news.”

Ann Schatz, a sports journalist who covered Harding, remembers her reaction to the crime as, “This is nuts! How is this happening?”

Tonya Harding Kristi Yamaguchi Nancy Kerrigan
Tonya Harding, Kristi Yamaguchi and Nancy Kerrigan (from left) during the awards ceremony following their performances in the ladies’ skating event at the World Figure Skating Championships in Munich, circa March 1991. Eileen Langsley/Popperfoto/Getty Images

The attack bruised but didn’t break Kerrigan’s leg, and she went on to win the silver medal at the Olympics in February of that year. 

Harding took a plea deal and did not serve jail time but was banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association. (Gillooly, Stant, Eckardt and Smith all served prison time for their roles in the attack.)

Watch the clip above to see the portrayal of Stant striking Kerrigan. Scandal Made Me Famous: Tonya Harding airs on Reelz at 9 p.m. ET. 

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