Former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding may not have changed her stripes after all.
In the PR blitz surrounding the new movie “I, Tonya,” Harding has been made to seem softer and more sympathetic than the cut-throat competitor accused, along with her then-husband Jeff Gillooly, of kneecapping Nancy Kerrigan before the 1994 Winter Olympics. But Tonya 2.0 turns out to be a lot like the woman we used to know.
This week, Harding was dumped by her publicist/agent Michael A. Rosenberg for ordering that journalists who ask about the infamous incident with Kerrigan be fined $25,000. According to Rosenberg, Harding demanded that reporters sign an affidavit stating that they wouldn’t ask her anything “about the past” or they’d be fined.
“Obviously,” wrote Rosenberg, “it doesn’t work that way, and therefore I’ve chosen to terminate our business relationship. I am sad as I write this; but at the same time I’m happy that I had such an adventure with the movie and with recreating a new positive image for (Harding) in the public eye. And I sincerely wish her the best.”
The former figure skater has been front and center for the rollout of “I, Tonya,” joining actress Margot Robbie, who plays her in the film, at the film’s red-carpet premiere and at last week’s Golden Globe Awards ceremony.
On a two-hour ABC special that aired Thursday, Harding, who’s 47, copped to knowing that “something was up” before the attack on Kerrigan, but insisted she didn’t have anything to do with it. As Harding’s made the media rounds, the kneecapping incident has come up repeatedly and she’s bristled each time.
During an interview this week with Piers Morgan on “Good Morning Britain,” Harding seemed on the verge of ending the segment after Morgan said the real victim was Kerrigan, not Harding.
“Thank you so much. I appreciate being on your show, but I think I’m going to have to say have a good night,” Harding said.
For her part, Kerrigan, a Stoneham native, has remained mostly mum on the movie. She told the Globe this week that she hasn’t seen it.
“I really have nothing to say about it. I haven’t seen anything. I haven’t watched anything,” Kerrigan said. “I’ve been busy. I was at the national [figure skating] championships this week so I didn’t watch the Golden Globes. I haven’t seen the movie. I’m just busy living my life.’’
But Kerrigan did watch - and approve of — the spoof trailer for “I, Nancy,” starring Olivia Munn as Kerrigan. (The funny bit aired during Thursday’s Critics’ Choice Awards.)