Margot Robbie to play disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding

2016-03-23 20:00

Los Angeles - Margot Robbie will star as disgraced figure skater Tonya Harding in I,Tonya.

The 25-year-old actress has been cast in the biopic as the professional ice skater whose ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and her bodyguard Shawn Eckhardt infamously hired a man to try and break her rival Nancy Kerrigan's right leg at the 1994 US Figure Skating Championships in Detroit in an attempt to stop her competing at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer.

Although the blow - which was struck above Kerrigan's right knee - did not result in a breakage, Kerrigan was left with a severely bruised leg and had to quit the national competition, which Harding went on to win.

The attack caused a media frenzy that was known as The Whack Heard Around The World.

See raw footage of the attack here:

Kerrigan went on to compete at the Winter Olympics where she won a Silver Medal, whereas Harding finished eighth.

The assailant, Shane Stant, was paid $6 500 to carry out the attack and was subsequently caught by police and his testimony led to the arrest of Gillooly and Eckhardt, who both served prison time.

Harding was also arrested and given a lifetime ban from the sport by the US Figure Skating Association in 1994.

It was found that she knew of the attack before it took place but avoided jail time by pleading guilty to conspiring to hinder the prosecution of the attackers.
However, her fame didn't end on the ice.

The 45-year-old ex-skating champion went on to become the star of a celebrity sex tape with her former spouse Gillooly.

Footage of the pair engaged in intercourse was leaked onto the web inspiring the couple to release it themselves. They sold the footage to Penthouse Home Video and it was released in September 1994 as the Wedding Night tape, as Harding was seen in a bridal gown, which was actually a Halloween costume. 

Harding also had a brief career as a boxer in the early 2000s.

A director for I,Tonya is yet to be hired, however, American Horror Story actress Sarah Paulson has publicly expressed an interest in playing Kerrigan opposite Robbie as Harding. 

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