Tonya Harding’s mother, LaVona Golden, slams her daughter’s abuse claims as an adolescent. Golden claims Harding is such a bonafide liar, that she doesn’t even know what she’s being truthful about anymore.
Tonya Harding‘s two-hour special, Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story, had no shortage of shocking moments when it aired on January 11. Harding, 47, traveled back in time to describe her tumultuous relationship with her mother, LaVona “Sandy” Golden, who she claims abused her as an adolescent. But, according to Golden, that wasn’t that case whatsoever. “I didn’t abuse any of my children,” Golden hit back in a rare interview with ABC News. “Spanked? Yes, [I] spanked,” she admitted, adding, “Absolutely, positively you [have] got to show them right from wrong.”
In the special, Harding also accuses Golden of throwing a steak knife at her when she was younger, a moment that is created in the new film I, Tonya, which was inspired by Harding’s life and centers around Harding and Golden’s volatile relationship. “Why would I throw a steak knife at anybody?” Golden said, also denying that claim.Golden went on to describe her daughter’s apparent history of lying. “She’s lied so much she doesn’t know what isn’t a lie anymore.”
But, it was a different story in Harding’s case. “I don’t think that there was more than one day a week, sometimes, that I didn’t get beaten,” Harding told ABC‘s Amy Robach, 44, during the special. Harding said that while her mother helped her pay for skating, there was a double standard. Harding claimed her mother once hit her in the bathroom at an ice rink, recalling, “I remember she dragged me into the bathroom and beat me with a hairbrush, literally.” Despite her denial, Golden admitted, “I spanked her once with a hairbrush at a competition,” but claimed that it was an isolated incident. However, Harding alleged the abuse was not just a one time thing.
Golden later disputed the claim that Harding was brought up in a bad environment. “Tonya herself called us trailer trash. We were never trailer trash. We had a beautiful new trailer,” Golden said. “We didn’t live in filth or dirt or anything that I would call unusual.”
Robach also asked if there was love in Hardin’s home growing up, to which Harding was at a loss for words. “Oh gosh… It was so long ago,” she said, before sarcastically saying that her mother was her favorite subject to talk about. “How would you describe your mom as a mother?” Robach asked. “Not a good one,” Harding said. “I know she probably did the best she probably could… When I’m being a bitch people want to know where I got it from.”
Harding eventually admitted that she knew her mother was drinking a lot around age 11, adding that her Golden would drink about half a thermos of brandy, mixed with coffee at 4:30 in the morning and then would drive her to school. “It sounds in some way you needed protection from her,” Robach said, and Harding agreed. Golden denied the drinking claims as well, saying she would drink coffee with brandy flavoring. “You can’t get drunk off brandy flavoring,” Golden scoffed, adding, “Sorry to disappoint.”
Today, Harding reveals she has a “second chance,” at life and is even skating again and close to landing her famed triple axel. She is married to her husband of seven years and has a son. “With my husband and my son, I get my second chance in life to be loved and to be happy,” she said. As for Harding’s relationship with her mother today? — “I don’t want her anywhere near me. I don’t want her anywhere near my son,” Harding admitted. “She wants forgiveness. She wants to see me. She wants to make amends. She wants to meet and be part of the family. Hell no.” Golden said she has never met her grandson.
I, Tonya — in theaters now — depicts Harding’s life, from her alleged abuse, to the rise and fall of her Olympic skating career, and the infamous attack on Nancy Kerrigan, 48. The film includes a scene in which Allison Janney, 58, who plays Golden, throws a steak knife at Harding, played by actress Margot Robbie, 27. Janney won a Golden Globe award on January 7 for her portrayal of Golden.
HollywoodLifers, what did you think of Harding’s interview?