Tonya and Nancy: The Inside Story

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Tonya & Nancy: The Inside Story is a 1994 NBC "interpretive" satirical-drama television film about the lives and careers of Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding leading up to the January 1994 attack on Kerrigan, and its extensive media coverage. Directed by Larry Shaw. Written by Phil Penningroth, based on public domain material.

Screenplay Writer[edit]

  • How do I write this? Sometimes I think that this could be a fairy tale. Not the "happily ever after" type that we tell each other to make ourselves feel better, but one of those strange dark tales where monsters eat little children. And it would begin the usual way: Once upon a time there were two little girls...and, oh, they loved to skate. But there came a day when joy and love were not enough.
  • What I kept wondering was why was America so obsessed? And if all the rumours and all the speculation was true, how could it come to pass that one young woman could be so desperate for an Olympic medal that she would try to maim the competition?
  • Character, some say, is plot. And plot is what we do, not what's happened to us or how we've suffered, but what we do.
  • Imagine how it would feel to know that 100 million people want you to fall. Imagine how it would feel knowing that, if you fall, you would fail 100 million people.
  • Tonya and Nancy...we imprisoned them both in images that we use to sell soup, and newspapers, and Olympic Games, and TV movies.
  • They're victims of those the media serve, they're victims of us.
  • "Tonya the Bad" Tokyo promoter tried to get her to wrestle on the Japanese circuit for millions of dollars, as "Tonya the Terrible". See, some fairy tales don't have a happy ending.

Skating Judge witness[edit]

  • We the judges meet the athletes at receptions, of course we observe the practice sessions. In reality, it's almost like a teacher who forms an opinion about a student outside of class, and grades them accordingly.

Sports Agent witness[edit]

  • Now the public's very fickle and athletes, even when they've won the gold medal, have a very short shelf-life. A great skating performance is a thing of the moment and when a window of opportunity opens, you've got to be ready.

FBI Agent witness[edit]

  • Sure they used cash, but then they'd call their home phones, and they'd register in hotels under their own names.
  • In a way it was funny, but it was also pathetic and it was dangerous.

Shawn Eckardt[edit]

  • I've got two operatives feuding, which means I'm caught in the middle, so now everything's riding on my mediation skills. It's reminiscent of something I was up against in Eastern Europe a couple years back; which was actually a more precarious situation 'cause you're dealing with foreign governments and who wants the responsibility of a Cold War? Not me.

Former Skater witness[edit]

  • In my day, you competed for God and country. But now their entire lives are at stake, their financial futures, the future of their families, they've sacrificed so much. Winning means everything – only one person can win.

Retired Running Back witness[edit]

  • Fair play is for the leisure class. The only ones who get paid are the winners. Kids ask me, I tell them the truth, I tell them: "Take the money and run." Before you get hurt, or get old.

1960s Activist witness[edit]

  • Anymore, it's like achievement is downright undemocratic because, hey, all men are created equally likely to be in the right place at the right time.
  • Who says crime doesn't pay?

NBC Network Executive witness[edit]

  • At the risk of self-parody, stop me if I sound like Network (1976), the facts are these:

(1) We had a story that 45% of the viewing public was following, following closely. (2) If we could get it on during May sweeps, get it on first, the ratings were going to be enormous.

Newspaper Editor witness[edit]

  • The bigger the controversy, the bigger the ratings – and yes, our circulation too. The bigger the ratings, the more the Olympic Committee could ask for next time around, and the more the networks could charge their advertisers.
  • Whenever the financial stakes are so enormous – and in sports these days, they usually are – ethics, fair play, sportsmanship; forget it. The only Olympic ideal is money. Aw hell, we're all whores.


Shawn Eckardt: [telephone conversations with Eckardt talking to Smith and Gillooly at different times - Smith and Gillooly only talk to Eckardt]
Maybe if I talk to Shane, Jeff will believe he's on the job.
Smith: I am Shane's control agent. No one talks to him but me, and you know that, Shawn.
Eckardt: Control agent? What, is he paranoid? Why can't I talk to him?
Gillooly: I want to talk to Derrick.
Eckardt: Jeff, you're putting me in the middle, here.
Gillooly: Shawn, I want receipts, I want proof…
Eckardt: This is a minor problem, I've handled situations like this before.

Gillooly: I'm getting a real bad feeling about these guys over there, maybe we should just pull out…Who are these guys?
Smith: We are professionals…
Eckardt: Here's the new plan: you're going to go to Detroit on a bus…Yeah, a bus, live with it.
Gillooly: They're out of money and they're on a bus, oh that's great, Shawn.
Smith: You tell Gillooly that if he doesn't come up with the rest of my money, I'm going to break his legs.

NBC Network President: [discussing how to produce a Tonya & Nancy TV movie]
Let's try to find some way to elevate this, huh?
NBC Network Executive: Yeah, fine – but for May sweeps.

Tonya Harding: [Harding's interview with the FBI on January 18, 1994]
See, after Nancy was attacked, I called Jeff, and he hired World Bodyguard, that's Shawn's company. And Shawn said that he had some guy on the East Coast that he would send to Detroit...
Ted Raynor, the FBI Agent: Miss Harding, do you know Nancy Kerrigan?
Harding: Sure, for about five or six years. We've toured together, we've been on the World Team and the Olympic Team. We're competitors and friends.
Raynor: Do you have contact with her, other than the competitions and the tours?
Harding: Well, sometimes I call her if I have to get an autograph. Like there was this picture of me and Nancy and Kristi that my Fan Club wanted me to get an autograph for. But I don't have her home phone, so when I needed to contact her, I had to call the rink where she trains.
Raynor: Do you know the name of the rink?
Harding: I didn't, I got it from the Figure Skating Association, just before Christmas. I called and left her a message asking her to call me back, but I never heard from her.
Raynor: Did Jeff ever call the rink?
Harding: No, he wouldn't do that. It's my business...
Raynor: Miss Harding, between Christmas and New Years, did you have any contact with Shawn Eckardt?
Harding: No.
Raynor: Do you remember any trips to his home during this time?
Harding: No.
Other FBI Agent: Do you remember taking Jeff to Shawn's and leaving him there?
Harding: No, that never occurred because I always go with Jeff.
Raynor: That second day that you were back in Portland from Detroit, that would make it Tuesday the 11th. Did you go to Shawn Eckardt's house at that time?
Harding: No, he was at school that night.
Raynor: So you didn't go to his house?
Harding: No, I told you.
Other FBI Agent: Or maybe drive by?
Harding: No, positively not.
Raynor: Miss Harding, I'm going to ask you one more time. Between approximately 9:30 and 10pm on the night of Tuesday January 11th, were you anywhere in the vicinity of Shawn Eckardt's house?
Harding: No, I was home.
Raynor: Miss Harding, do you understand the meaning of conspiracy?
Harding: No.
Raynor: [to Harding's attorney] Do you want to explain that to your client?...What about hindering prosecution?...Miss Harding, if you lie to law enforcement authorities about some knowledge you have of some crime that's been committed, that's hindering prosecution. Do you understand that?
Harding: Yes.
Raynor: You've lied to me, Miss Harding. And now I'm going to tell you just how you've lied to me...
Harding: I just want to say that I'm sorry...I'm telling on someone I really care about.