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Tonya Harding Tells Bizarre Tale Of Kidnapping And Rape

In an appearance on the 'Today' show to talk about her new book, former figure skater and two-time Olympian Tonya Harding said her "roller-coaster life" has included childhood abuse from her mother and being raped at gunpoint by her husband and two other men.

"I am just a person who has led a roller-coaster life my whole entire life," Harding said.

Harding was the world's most infamous athlete in 1994 when her then-husband, Jeff Gillooly, orchestrated an attack on Nancy Kerrigan, her top rival. Although, Kerrigan recovered and went on to win a silver medal, Harding was eventually banned from figure skating.

Harding said she wanted to call the FBI after the Kerrigan incident, but that Gillooly wouldn't allow it. She writes in the book: "Jeff and two other guys — don't know who they were because I couldn't see who they were — they were in a different car — decided to drive me up to the mountains, put a gun to my head, and take themselves upon me. They told me, this is what you are going to say. This is what you are going to do, and if you don't, you're not going to be here anymore."

Harding has been seen as the villain since the Kerrigan incident, but says she sees herself as a victim. Asked why she waited so long to tell the story, Harding says she was "ashamed" and "scared."

You can see a short clip from the interview below:

May 16, 2008 |

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