Culture

'I, Tonya' Casts Its Nancy Kerrigan For Biopic

Nancy Kerrigan was an Olympics-bound, rising star in the figure skating world when a hitman attacked her after practice in 1994 in an attempt to break her leg.

The ensuing drama became one of the earliest cases of media saturation, with news networks offering wall-to-wall coverage of the attack and its fallout -- settling on figure skating rival Tonya Harding and her husband as co-conspirators in the attack, which was designed to make sure Kerrigan could not compete in the Olympics.

After the reveal that actress Margot Robbie would play Harding in the upcoming biopic "I, Tonya," the production team has found its Nancy Kerrigan, according to Deadline Hollywood -- 24-year-old actress Caitlin Carver, an Alabama native best known for her TV work including several episodes of "Nashville" and "The Fosters," an episode of "NCIS" and an uncredited one-off on "Glee."

Australian director Craig Gillespie ("The Finest Hours" and "Million Dollar Arm") will helm the film, which will focus on Harding and her then-husband, Jeff Gillooly, as they tried to remove Kerrigan from competition and clear a path for Harding to compete in the Olympics.

Harding and Gillooly hired hit man Shane Stant to break Kerrigan's leg ahead of the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit. On Jan. 6, 1994, Stant waited until Kerrigan finished a practice routine, followed the figure skater into a corridor in Detroit's Cobo Arena and then hit her with a telescopic baton similar to those used by police.

The dramatic footage of Harden crying and holding her leg after the attack -- and the ensuing media frenzy -- kept the story in the headlines for more than a year as those involved were prosecuted. Gillooly accepted a plea deal for testifying against Harding and Stant, among others who were involved, while Harding eventually pleaded guilty to one charge, resulting in three years' probation.

Harding never served time for the crime, but paid "a ton" in court fines and was sentenced to community service, E! News reports. Kerrigan, meanwhile, recovered and went on to win a silver medal in the 1994 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway.

Sources: Deadline Hollywood, E! News, IMDb / Photo credit: Andrew Parodi/Wikimedia Commons

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