tonya harding, “new evidence,” and things we have known since 1994

oh, hello!


we’re baaaaaaaack…



i should have known that, in writing about the daily mail in conjunction with facts, FACT TIME WITH OLINE was bound to become every freaking post from now on.

today will be brief.

i present for your consideration:

which could seriously also be part two of our series of Stories The Daily Mail Picked Up After They Were Originally Reported in People Magazine.

my problem here is “new evidence.”

(via the daily mail)

(via the daily mail)

which people also uses.

i’d read the people article earlier in the day and disregarded it because it wasn’t clear that there was anything that was actually new.

upon close reading, i think that there is.

the existence of the handwritten note has been known since 1994, though i’m not entirely sure we’ve actually seen it, so there you go.

also the sherif’s department has apparently opened their files and shared a transcript of an interview with shawn eckhardt. so that’s new.

plus, there’s a picture. of harding and gillooly smoking in their backyard. so that’s whatever that is. what it proves, i have no idea. that they knew each other? that they weren’t exactly all over each other? #thingswealreadyknewin1994

so, “new evidence”? yeah, not so much. we’re getting to see one thing we’ve known about forever but maybe hadn’t seen before. we’re getting a picture of a married couple taken when they were under investigation for this incident. and we’re getting a transcript of an interview with one of the dudes involved. hold that. it’s not a transcript. it’s a list of evidence which mentions a transcript.

HOT STUFF, ya’ll.

hands down the most interesting part of this article is this:

(via the daily mail)

(via the daily mail)

this makes me question whether the daily mail lifted the bones of this report from their contemporary reporting on this incident. because the two have not “separated since.” that is a completely ridiculous characterization of these events.

this was not a new development within the intervening twenty-two years. it happened at the time. this is 1994 news. and it was a huge part of that news at the time.

harding argued that she had received threats from the international skating association that her marks would be adversely affected by her disorganized personal life, that she would not fare as well score-wise as a divorced woman. and so, she claimed, she tried to reconcile with gillooly in advance of the nationals and the olympics in 1994.

th in car

to present this as a straightforward thing- they were together and now they are not- is to radically distort the story. it streamlines it, to be sure, and it fits the current way we tell this story, but it also oversimplifies the circumstances of harding’s possible involvement. (more on this here and here.)

he is her husband and so, of course, she was involved in the conspiracy to injure kerrigan.

the questions that arise and which go unexplored: why was she with him? what impact did that have on what happened? and how did her being with him affect the way her story was told?

clearly it did. because, in the story as it’s being told here, she was unambiguously with him at the time of the events described. never mind that things are seldom so unambiguous. or that the ambiguity is what makes them compelling.

One thought on “tonya harding, “new evidence,” and things we have known since 1994

  1. Hi Oline. Really great to read your articles about Tonya Harding, particularly the one about the triple axel, which included alot of photos and news articles that I hadn’t seen before. Yes, the “new” evidence mentioned in the “documentary” is a load of bollocks. Unless you fell asleep sometime in mid-January 1994 and only woke up recently, it’s old news to anybody with any interest in the case. The whole thing seems to have been aimed at those who weren’t born at the time or were too young to remember it first hand and don’t know any better.

    The “Tunee Can” note was published way back in early ’94 (albeit in inferior quality), and according to experts it contains the handwriting of three people: Tonya, Jeff Gillooly and an unknown third person. Tonya says that the only bit that is hers is her coach Diane Rawlinson’s contact details, and nobody has ever proven otherwise. Likewise the photo of Jeff and Tonya leaving Shawn Eckardt’s house has also been available for yonks – in fact, it’s the one the FBI used to fit her up with the “lying to investigators” charge. I admit I’ve never seen the “summary of evidence” document before, but the contents are certainly nothing new and do nothing to prove Tonya had any prior knowledge. It’s all hearsay and contradictory junk, which is why the DA didn’t take it to trial.

    I was wondering if you would be interested in being put on our Tonya mailing list – it’s the easiest way to keep up with Tonya news without wading through all the rubbish Google Alerts churns up. Although we are unofficial, we are in contact with Tonya’s management team and with the people working on the upcoming Margot Robbie film. If so, you can contact us through the feedback form on our web site:

    Terry Hall
    Head of Special Duties Section
    Portland Ice Skating Society – New Zealand’s Tonya Harding fan club

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