• "The Portlandian" - July 4, 2021 edition

    From Terry Hall@21:1/5 to All on Mon Jul 5 20:06:12 2021
    XPost: alt.fan.tonya-harding

    T H H E
    T H H E

    P P O O R R T L A A NN N D D I A A NN N
    P O O R R T L A A N NN D D I A A N NN

    The Portlandian, the Internet's premier source of Tonya News

    July 4, 2021 Edition - INDEPENDENCE DAY EDITION
    (C) 2021 Portland Ice Skating Society
    http://www.pdxiss.org *****************************************************************

    Happy Independence Day! And let's face it - you don't get much
    more American than Tonya, as her Instagram post demonstrates:


    As the Pacific Northwest swelters under its worst heatwave in
    decades, the local skating rink is probably looking a very
    attractive place to be right now. And we're pleased to begin this
    issue with a piece of exciting news of an ice-related kind.


    Clark County, Washington, which is the area just north of
    Portland where Tonya lives, is not known as a hotbed of the
    fashion world, but that's all about to change. Because we've got
    some great news - you can now buy from Tonya's own personal
    collection of officially licensed merchandise that she's
    marketing in partnership with Fan Arch:


    The range includes t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and hats, most
    available in a variety of colors and sizes. There are three
    designs, two of which - the TH logo and "defy the odds" - feature
    a silhouette of Tonya performing the triple axel, to commemorate
    the 30th anniversary of that achievement. The third version,
    "America's Hardware", has an open bible and a cross, symbolizing
    her faith and patriotism:



    The collection isn't confined to clothing either, as it also
    includes phone cases.

    Now we know what the well-dressed Tonyaphile will be wearing to
    the skating rink this winter!


    The past few weeks have also seen Tonya doing several interviews,
    two of them with media "down under". The most recent of these was
    for the "Jono and Ben" show on radio station "The Hits", right
    here in New Zealand - probably the first time Tonya has ever done
    an interview for Kiwi media.

    The interview was promoted on their social media feeds:

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CQxkknwMjEO/ (first promo - guess who)

    https://www.instagram.com/p/CQyzpn2lRzO/ (second promo)


    The interview itself went well, with Tonya describing her hosts
    as being real gentlemen (unlike that slimy limey Piers Morgan).
    She also used the opportunity to promote her line of clothing.
    Also revealed were all the injuries that she has suffered over
    the years - a list that would rival any football player - clearly
    skating is not a sport for sissies.

    Here's the link for Tonya's segment:



    These links have been verified as working in the U.S. and
    Germany. If they don't, you can download the podcast from this
    link for the next six days:


    Another, in late May, was for "The Morning Show" on
    the Seven Network in Australia, continuing the role of that
    country in the Great Tonya Revival of recent years.

    Promotional item where you can leave likes and comments:


    The video - you can also leave likes and comments here:


    Only standard definition, but has been verified as working in
    several countries, including NZ, US & Germany.

    As for the interview itself, it's a good one, with the hosts
    clearly being sympathetic. Tonya relives her triple axel (or
    "troiple exel" as they call it over there) 30 years ago, and gets
    quite emotional. She also describes meeting Margot, reveals that
    she hasn't skated in almost two years, and that her son prefers
    baseball to skating, complaining that the rink is "really cold".

    It's not the first time that Tonya has appeared on Australian TV
    - back in 2008 she was interviewed on the same network about her
    just-released book, "The Tonya Tapes".

    The other one is an interview with Lieutenant Steven Rogers, a
    former police officer. Tonya's bit starts here, at 34:29:


    If the name sounds familiar, that's because it's the same as the
    guy who wote "I, Tonya". It appears that Tonya must have stumbled
    across him while Googling info on the screenwriter.


    A couple of posts from Tonya appeared on Instagram back in April:
    in the first, she remembers her dad, who passed away 12 years


    The second is more upbeat - Tonya at Easter! As someone has
    pointed out, the egg is the same color as her 1991 Triple Axel
    costume. Coincidence, or....?



    More recently, Tonya's name turned up on a tank in an
    unidentified location, along with "Matt Damon" and "Plague":


    Tonya, who was tagged by the original poster, described this as
    "freaking awesome" and "an honor", and used the opportunity to
    give a shout-out to all the service men and women for keeping her
    country safe.


    A couple of other, older Tonya-related interviews from 1994 have
    come to our attention recently.

    In the first, Connie Chung interviews Tonya's mother LaVona (sans
    bird this time). This aired the day of Tonya's "I had no prior
    knowledge" speech (Jan 27):


    Clips from Sandra Luckow's "Sharp Edges" are shown. A witness,
    Pat Hamil, whose daughter skated with Tonya at one stage, also
    recalls seeing Tonya being slapped and knocked off a chair,
    backing up Tonya's claims of her mother being physically abusive.

    The second, from "A Current Affair" of July 14, 1994, features
    Jeff Gillooly without the mustache, revealing he was actually
    decent-looking without that dreadful face-fuzz. This was his last
    interview before beginning his prison term:


    Sebastian Stan said that he found researching the role of
    Gillooly difficult because there's not much footage of him
    available, and he's right. The interviewer seems to forget that
    Jeff has changed his story several times, initially denying any
    involvement, then saying it was his idea but that Tonya didn't
    know, and then throwing Tonya under the bus when she told the
    truth, with him claiming she knew all along. Since then he's
    changed his story a third time, implying that all he knew about
    was a death threat, and that it was Shawn Eckardt's decision to
    escalate things into violence. Of course Shawn's now conveniently
    dead, so blaming him is easy.

    Since this interview he's had several run-ins with the law,
    including for domestic violence, so his claim that he's a
    reformed figure lacks credibility.


    On the subject of interviews, there�s another reason for
    Tonyaphiles to rejoice: many of you may have heard that Piers
    Moron (sic) has left "Good Morning Britain" as a result of his
    outburst about Meghan Markle. It's welcome news that he�s finally
    got his comeuppance, as Piers is a known Tonyaphobe who tricked
    Tonya into appearing on his show 3 years ago by telling her
    management he was a big fan of hers, and then proceeded to accuse
    her of lying about you-know-what. A former tabloid editor, he's a
    totally unethical douchebag, like too many "journalists" these
    days, so good riddance. This appears to be the longest version of
    the interview that's still on line:


    If there was ever a guy who Tonya should have told to "Suck my
    d--k", it's him. But she was too classy for that.

    This incident pretty much derailed her "I, Tonya" media campaign.
    We know there were a dozen or so other interviews that were lined
    up, but Tonya became camera shy as a result of this and most of
    them got canceled. Michael Rosenberg also resigned as her
    agent/manager. Who knows where things could have gone if this
    hadn't happened?

    Regular readers of "The Portlandian" will know that we
    occasionally dish out what we call the "Jayson" awards for bad
    Tonya-related reporting, an "award" that was named after a New
    York Times reporter called Jayson Blair who was fired for
    fabricating stories. So Piers, here's a long overdue Jayson for
    you. No need to stop by our offices to pick it up, though - it's
    not a physical trophy.


    Some relatively unknown footage of Tonya warming up for the 1989
    Skate America competition in Indianapolis in October has
    surfaced, thanks to an alert Tonyaphile:


    Although it may seem hard to believe today, back in that era the
    Short Programs often weren't telecast. So the USFSA brought in
    outside videographers to tape these and sell tapes to the skaters
    who wanted a record of their performances. Some of the outfits
    involved were Ledin Video, R & J Video and Udell Photography. You
    can recognize these tapes by the fact they are usually single-
    camera and have no commentary.

    Thanks to Kelsey Elizabeth on the Reinstate Tonya Harding
    Facebook group for finding this.


    Airing on the REELZ network in December 2016, this 44 minute
    series episode is probably the last Tonya doc of any note
    preceding the release of "I, Tonya". At the time, its main hook
    was that it supposedly revealed "new evidence" that "proved"
    Tonya's complicity in the Kerrigan incident in the form of a note
    found in the garbage of a Portland restaurant - evidence that
    would only be considered "new" to someone who was not familiar
    with the case or had fallen asleep some time in mid-January 1994
    and only just woken up. Now that it has become available on line
    at the link below, we thought we'd give it a proper review:


    The first thing of note is that the whole tone of it is quite
    trashy, like something you'd find on Fox circa 1998 or so, hyping
    up the rivalry between Tonya and Nancy, and with sleazy re-
    enactments showing "Tonya" and "Jeff" getting passionate
    backstage at the ice rink. Some bits border on laughable: the
    actress who who is supposed to be "Tonya" doesn't look anything
    like her, and she's usually shown with a cancer stick hanging out
    of her mouth - I guess this is their way of implying she's
    "trailer trash". It also tends to play fast and loose with
    timelines, with photos from '94 used when discussing earlier

    On the up side, it does a good job of showing Tonya's early life,
    how she was treated as an outsider by the skating establishment,
    how she had to make do with homemade costumes, and the abuse she
    suffered at the hands of LaVona and Jeff.

    Interviewed are a couple of regulars in the form of Ann Schatz &
    Norm Frink (but thankfully not Christine Brennan), and some new
    faces, such as Frink's assistant Jean Maurer, Steve Helling
    (described as "Senior Crime Reporter" for People magazine), Mike
    Pliska (Tonya's fiance during one of her separations from Jeff),
    Vicki Mills-O'Donnell (a former choreographer of Tonya's), Kathy
    Peterson, (owner of the Dockside Saloon) and Robert Peschka (the
    handwriting expert who examined the "Tunee Can" note). Some of
    these, like Helling, appear to be questionable - his credibility
    goes down when he says Tonya was first woman (rather than first
    American) to land a triple axel.

    The triple axel itself is shown, not just a recreation - "It was
    magnificent to witness", says Ann Schatz. Shortly after this,
    Tonya leaves Gillooly and starts dating Mike Pliska, a
    contruction worker who works at the mall where Tonya trains, who
    is interviewed. However, he breaks up with Tonya - according to
    him, this was because after she started hanging out with rich
    guys who were interested in being her sponsors.

    The Whacking is poorly recreated. There are too many errors, such
    as the fact that the hit man doesn't look much like Stant, that
    Nancy was being interviewed at the time, and that Stant head-
    butted his way through the locked door, rather than smashing it
    with his baton (a mistake also made in "I, Tonya"). However, some
    of the Intersport footage is used, which kind of makes the re-
    enactment irrelevant and unnecessary anyway. In another error,
    the Eckardt family's house looks like a mansion compared to the
    dump it actually was.

    More interesting is Jean Maurer, a bespectacled librarian type
    who was Norm Frink's assistant, who admits that the case against
    Tonya "was not airtight". Frink himself admits "almost all of
    their dealings had been through Gillooly so they really didn't
    have a lot of direct evidence against her." The doc also concedes
    that there is no video or audio of Tonya plotting, and the
    conspirators are less than credible.

    The other interesting bit is at 32:30, dealing with the Tunee Can
    note. However, most of the writing has "inconclusive" next to it,
    except for a phone number. It's not clear who wrote this, or the
    pink and yellow highlighter - is this the handwriting expert or
    some embellishment by the documentary makers? In any case, it's
    not disputed that Tonya spoke to Vera Marano, and there's nothing
    here that proves anything more than this.

    Then we get to Lillehammer. In another indication of the low
    budget this thing had, only photos are used, indicating they
    couldn't afford to license the IOC's actual footage, and photos
    from the Short and Long Programs are frequently intermixed,
    making for more confusion. Tonya's choreographer confirms that
    broken laces can happen, debunking those who say that this was
    staged by Tonya.

    Then we're back to Frink, who claims the plea agreement was a way
    of ensuring Tonya was punished without the DA having to spend
    lots of time and money on a trial that would have sucked up
    resources better spent elsewhere, like dealing with killers and
    drug dealers. As likely is that he knew that his handwriting
    expert would likely be challenged by another expert that would be
    inevitably called by Tonya's side, with no assurance of
    convincing a jury.

    The final segment deals with Tonya's life after the plea deal,
    including the Wedding Night Video (entirely in keeping with the
    sordid tone of this thing), her boxing match against Paula Jones,
    and her concert with the Golden Blades, which is incorrectly
    stated to be an attempt at launching a pop singing career, when
    in fact it was a one-off gig for charity. Ann Schatz displays a
    sympathetic outlook to Tonya's plight. It also notes that
    Gillooly has since beeen arrested twice for domestic violence and
    also for driving with a suspended license.

    In short, worth a look for the viewpoints from some fresh faces
    and for a good laugh at some of the corny "re-enactments", but
    it's no "Price of Gold", which remains the gold standard of Tonya
    docs - and certainly no "I, Tonya". On the old 6.0 scale, I'd
    give it a 3.5 for Technical Merit and about a 3.0 for
    Presentation, mainly due to its low budget and unnecessarily
    sleazy overtones.


    Once again we bring you some of the very best of Tonya fan art
    out there:

    Daisy (the_curse_fanzine):


    "The Curse" was a feminist 'zine published out of Williamsburg in
    NYC in the 90s. One of their first promotional events was held at
    Teddy's Bar & Grill in February 1994 and consisted of a watch
    party for the Ladies figure skating in Lillehammer. The place was
    packed and featured a pair of drag queens dressed as Tonya &

    Hobart Gato Loco Frolley (hobartgatolocofrolley) Tonya as a cat:


    Izza (phantomscpera) - a nice "I, Tonya" triple axel painting.


    Serhat Yucel (s3ro_art) - another "I, Tonya" inspired triple axel


    miaartistary - a LaVona pencil sketch and a pink Tonya:


    Tonya Harding fans (tonyahdg_). Even pixelated at the start, we
    can still recognize who it is! See also the second frame:


    Sofia Rosetta (sorsenart) Botucatu, Brazil. some of her other
    drawings include Frankenfurter, Hannibal Lecter and Audrey
    Hepburn, so Tonya is in distinguished company:


    Multifandom (fictional.wxrlds) - an "I, Tonya" montage.


    Emma (swan_gossip_shop) - "another dip into my GIF archives;
    Tonya Harding at the 1991 USA figure skating championships doing
    a lil ice victory dance right after she landed her famous triple


    Shaun Ponsonby (jr_from_dallas) A t-shirt featuring the maligned
    women of the "Your Wrong About" podcast:


    Fernando Diez (fernandordiaez) - "I'll smoke it quietly, then":


    David Rivas (darife_83) - a pencil drawing of Tonya's SP at


    winnieart0710 - another great triple axel tribute:


    mario_zucca - "Added a little motion to my Nancy Kerrigan spo-


    K.C (wc_arts_kd) - the mirror scene:


    DRAW (jade_draww) - pencil sketch of Tonya & LaVona:


    amelie.graux - crying Tonya & other drawings:


    mezawari_inc - "Little Miss Tonya stickers dropping soon":


    i_can_photoshop_that - some fun with Tonya, Photoshop(R), and a


    Another collage from gisafrog in Germany - "Yooptzah everybody
    (especially fellow Tonya Fans). Here comes a collage/shadowbox
    hybrid of the amazing @therealtonyaharding. It's a black-and-
    white picture from 1990 and I Love her costume. Tonya, If you See
    this: I Wish you an awesome day, stay Safe and healthy. I used
    tinsel garland, star-shaped fairy lights, holo Cardboard (and
    Stars punched Out of holo Cardboard), tiny seed beads for the
    decorations on her Dress and of course a Lot of glitter paint.


    Robert Foster (robertf787) - diarycomic


    Film dessin (movies_desing) - another artwork inspired by the
    film's poster:


    Shelter (shelter_gallery) "We're so excited about Benjamin
    Cabral's solo exhibition "Well, Maybe Next Year," curated by
    Lauren Powell. These works deftly balance joy and sorrow through
    a nostalgic lens, and they're just fantastic in person. The
    gallery has been transformed into an ice rink that must be
    experienced! Self Portrait as Tonya, 2021, Rhinestones, beads,
    acrylic painted wood, 35x35 in."



    Marieke Pras (spoukprint) - Tonya costumes:


    Grazi (grazi174) - another mirror scene drawing:


    Sara Xx (lover_of_tonniexharding) - a montage from a fan:


    "My love for Tonya Harding @therealtonyaharding xx Love Youuuu,
    Tonnie!!! Please Go And Tag Her In The Comments!! Get Her To See
    This xx #tonyaharding #figureskater #publicfigure #ladiesboxer
    #futurenurse #futurenurseinthewar x it�s my dream to: meet you
    one day, learn skating from you, anything really would make my
    day x on my other account @spoby4ever__livgrey18 you made me so
    so happy and you noticing me had made my day and I cried so much
    cuz you�re my skating idol xx you are my absolute favourite
    skater and you inspire me so so much and i wanna get back into
    skating and i wanna skate like you x no matter what happened in
    �94 I am always on your side and I will always believe and
    support you x because Ik Piers Morgan was trying to get at you as
    well on live television and i just thought that was so fricking
    wrong of him x I will always love you and I will never stop x
    hopefully I will be able to meet you soon x With All My Love,
    Sara xx"

    lily (lily.elvaa) - a great triple axel painting:


    Shirin Zendehdel (illustrationsbyshirin) - alternative IT poster:


    zee (zeeezart) - a triple axel drawing:


    And finally, a Margot montage in time for her birthday on July
    2nd by(gigisantosortega)



    A sad note to finish off last year was the death of Sheriff Benny
    Napoleon, a key figure in cracking the "whack" case, who has died
    of COVID-related complications:


    "I, CRUELLA"?

    The past few months have also seen several "I, Tonya" alumni
    reuniting to work together on various projects:

    - "Cruella", Craig Gillespie's first film since "I, Tonya", has
    been released, and is getting good reviews, with many now saying
    that thanks to those two films he is now to be regarded as one of
    Hollywood's leading directors. It's also seen him working again
    with Paul Walter Hauser (Shawn), who plays one of Cruella's
    henchmen. As an added coincidence, Nancy Kerrigan, whom Craig
    worked with on a Campbell's Soup commercial back in '93, played
    Cruella DeVil in a Disney skating special in 1995. So maybe he
    was destined for the job.

    Two other projects he'll direct also have I,T connections:

    - the miniseries "Pam & Tommy" will star Sebastian Stan as Tommy

    - the Mike Tyson biography "Iron Mike" will be written by "I,T"
    writer Steven Rogers, and is being produced by Bryan Unkless's
    Clubhouse Pictures and Margot's LuckyChap Entertainment.

    It's unlikely that any of these connections would have occurred
    without "I, Tonya", so it's been a benefit for all concerned.

    So that's all for this issue. We hope that everybody has a great
    Independence Day, even if you're not American. Because as
    Tonyaphiles, we're all honorary Yanks anyway.


    PortIce - http://www.pdxiss.org
    David House - http://www.tonyaharding.org
    Charlie Main - http://www.charliesweb.com/tonya/tonya.html
    Puppetboy - http://www.usapaul.net/tonya/
    Valerie Smith - http://www.olywa.net/radu/valerie/LilHam.html
    Swan Lake - http://members.tripod.com/~TonyaHarding/index.html
    Blades of Gold - http://members.tripod.com/tmhfan/index.html *****************************************************************

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)