- Date of Birth:
- November 12, 1970
- 5' 1"
Tonya Harding (born Tonya Maxene Harding in Portland, Oregon on November 12, 1970) is an American figure skating champion. She had a tumultuous childhood — her father had health problems, her brother died, and her mother was abusive. She found solace in skating, and eventually became so successful that she dropped out of high school to focus primarily on skating. Throughout the mid to late ’80s, Tonya competed in the U.S. Figure Skating Championship several times, but she didn’t break out until 1991, when she landed a triple axel at the U.S. Championships. However, Tonya’s career began to decline after that — she competed in the 1992 Olympics and finished fourth, then skated poorly in the 1993 U.S. Championships and didn’t qualify for the World Championship team. She rose to fame again in 1994, when her ex-husband and her bodyguard hired Shane Stant to break Nancy Kerrigan’s right leg. Kerrigan’s leg was only bruised, and while both women made it to the 1994 Olympic games, Nancy nabbed the silver medal. Tonya eventually received three years probation, 500 hours of community service and a $160,000 fine for her role in the attacks, and was also banned from many skating events.
Best Known For:
Tonya Harding rose to fame for all the wrong reasons in 1994, when her ex-husband and her bodyguard hired a man to break Nancy Kerrigan’s leg.
Tonya Harding married Jeff Gillooly when she was 19. The couple divorced in 1993, and she later married Michael Smith from 1995 to ’96. In 2010, she married Joseph Jens Price, a commentator on the popular truTV program The Smoking Gun Presents: World’s Dumbest. Harding gave birth to a son on February 27, 2011.