But when it came to figure skating's "establishment" and the Kerrigan attack the film veers into fantasy.
They are so hilariously bad as depicted by director Craig Gillespie (the criminally underrated "Lars and the Real Girl") that you should be left with one thought by the end of the film: Give the girl a break.
"I am so over the glamorisation of a villain simply because she was born on the 'wrong side of the tracks, '" he snapped. They were celebrating the 1988 Olympic team. Part of Harding's struggle was that, unlike Kerrigan, she didn't fit the bill of what a figure skater was supposed to be, and her rock "n" roll image was something that was never going to win favorable opinion in her sport. "Any of us could have won, any of us could have failed". Kerrigan's injury forces her to drop out of the skating competition, which Tonya Harding wins January 11, 1994: FBI investigates allegation that Harding's bodyguard, Shawn Eckardt, and her ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, orchestrated the attack on Kerrigan.
When asked about whether she'd seen the new movie, which tells the tale from Tonya Harding's perspective, Kerrigan didn't mince words.
Though we certainly feel sorry for Kerrigan, and no attempt is made to dodge Harding's complicity in what went down, putting the focus on one over the other allows for an interesting dynamic. Nevertheless, "I did however overhear them talking about stuff", she says to Robach, referring to Gillooly and Eckhardt.
"This was, like, a month or two months before [the attack]", Harding continued.
Tonya Harding is having a moment.
Both Gillooly and Eckardt pleaded guilty to racketeering for their involvement in the incident.More news: Mudslides and flooding kill at least 13 in California
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She was sentenced to three years probation and a $160,000 fine. I've got my life.
Which brings us back to Rosenberg, her now former manager. Yet, Nancy, when speaking with Nightline in April 2017, said she never got a direct apology from her rival.
Present-day reminiscences by these two characters frame "I, Tonya", which plays out as a series of flashbacks, during which Robbie occasionally breaks character to directly address the camera.
Despite what she went through in the years following the attack, Harding said her faith has allowed her to persevere.
"I respect you for trying to ask these questions, but I'm here for the future and what it means to me", she told the presenting duo. And I've been nothing several times.
The movie puts us in Harding's corner early, as we meet her abrasive, frequently married, frequently single mother LaVona Golden.
"I mean this is my sanctuary, and I don't have anything to escape from anymore, but I just love it so much", Harding, 47, told ABC News' Amy Robach in an interview for ABC News' two-hour special, "Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story", which airs January 11 at 9 p.m. ET.