Tonya Harding is having a moment right now. The movie “I, Tonya,” which is about Harding’s life and career, is garnering tons of awards buzz. It even won a Golden Globe on Sunday, for Allison Janney’s performance as Harding’s mother, LaVona “Sandy” Golden.
Golden is portrayed as an abusive alcoholic in “I, Tonya,” which was based on hours of interviews from Harding. And in news that should surprise no one, the real life Sandy Golden isn’t a fan of the movie, despite the awards and good reviews. She gave a rare interview to ABC News to share her thoughts on the film, and on her daughter, Tonya.
“She’s lied so much she doesn’t know what isn’t a lie anymore.”
OK then! There’s certainly no question what she thinks about her daughter, but at least we know that Tonya takes after her mother when it comes to not holding back in interviews.
In her own interview with ABC News, Harding accuses Golden of being an abusive mother who routinely beat her. But Golden says that wasn’t the case.
“I didn’t abuse any of my children,” Golden said. “Spanked? Yes, [I] spanked. Absolutely, positively you [have] got to show them right from wrong.”
Harding also remembers a particular incident in which Golden “dragged me into the bathroom and beat me with a hairbrush, literally.” Golden presents a slightly different recollection of that incident, with the main sticking point being the difference between the word “beat” and “spank.”
“I spanked her once with a hairbrush at a competition,” responded Golden, adding, “She wouldn’t know what a beating was.”
Then there’s the famous steak knife incident, which was featured in the movie. When she tried to leave the house during a conversation, Tonya claims that her mother threw a steak knife at her which pierced her forearm. Golden has a response for that, too.
“Why would I throw a steak knife at anybody?”
What about the accusation that Golden is an alcoholic, who would go to Harding’s early morning skating practices with a thermos that was half-coffee, half-brandy? Golden says there’s nothing real about that, either.
“I would have coffee and sometimes I would put brandy flavoring in it. I love brandy flavoring. You can’t get drunk on flavoring. Sorry to disappoint you.”
There’s absolutely no love lost between these two. During the interview, Harding emphatically says that Golden was a terrible mother who will never meet her young grandson.
“I don’t want her anywhere near me. I don’t want her anywhere near my son,” Harding said of her mother. “She wants forgiveness. She wants to see me. She wants to make amends. She wants to meet and be part of the family. Hell no.”
The forgiveness stuff feels like a bit of a stretch, since Golden called her daughter a liar in the interview. An interview she’s only giving because Harding is involved in a movie that presents her mother as a villain.
Considering that Golden is described as reclusive, it seems unlikely that we’ll hear from her again. But with the Oscar nominations (Jan. 23) and ceremony (March 4) growing closer, we’ll undoubtedly hear a lot more from Harding. And if this interview was any indication, she’s got a lot to say.
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