Tonya Maxine Price, the athlete and reality TV star formerly known as Tonya Harding, is still one of the most scandalous figures in (relatively recent) Olympic history. She began training as a figure skater at the age of four and eventually dropped out of school to pursue her sports dreams full time. Her efforts paid off too when she won the 1989 Skate America Championships and went on to skate in the 1991 and 1994 Olympics. She won the silver medal in 1991 and became the first female American and second woman in the world to land a triple axel successfully. You might think all that fame made her rich, but unfortunately, that’s not quite how things played out. What’s Tonya Harding’s Net Worth today? We looked into the matter, and it seems she’s only managed to stash enough cash for a decent car.
So… She’s a Figure Skater?
Though Tonya spent a sizeable chunk of her early life on ice and won at the Olympics, she is not a figure skater. For those unfamiliar with the story of what happened at the 1994 Olympics, Tonya had a serious rival. Nancy Kerrigan was a rising star in the figure skating world and one that might have the chops to beat Tonya. Tonya’s ex-husband Jeff Gillooly must still have been very much in love with the skater because he apparently couldn’t stand to see her lose. He hired a hitman to take out the competition, and Nancy was attacked. However, the attack was sloppy. Not only did Kerrigan go on to skate, but she also won the silver medal in 1994 while Tonya came in eighth. Records of the transaction were eventually found, and Gillooly, Harding, and two others were all implicated. The men did jail time, but Tonya ended up with a lesser sentence.
It’s fair to say Tonya might have been a little distracted with the scandal. She was implicated and pled guilty to hindering the prosecution later. On June 30, 1994, the US figure skating Association banned her from the sport for life. She would never again compete or get paid to skate. Moreover, she was fined a massive hundred and sixty thousand dollars for her part in the attack. After the scandal, she was paid for a few interviews. This included a six hundred thousand dollar check from Inside Edition. However, she had legal bills to pay and did several years of probation, along with five hundred hours of community service.
A Girl’s Gotta Eat
We aren’t sure what she did for a living after that. She sold her rights to the movie made about her and Nancy for a mere $1500. We’re okay with the idea that she didn’t make much money off of her involvement in attacking another athlete. The next few years are a little hazy as far as Tonya’s progress, but she managed to stay in the spotlight now and then. Her ex-husband released a sex tape he made on their wedding night. After that, she made attempts at acting and music that never panned out. Her band, The Golden Blades, was booed offstage in her native Oregon. For a while, after that, she disappeared into a quiet life.
In 2002 Tonya Harding and another scandal participant, Paula Jones (she accused Bill Clinton of Sexual Harassment), showed up unexpectedly on Celebrity Boxing. Tonya won, and as it turns out, she had a taste for knocking other women on their backs. She even told the Tribune,” it was fun knocking somebody else on their butt.” For the next year or so, Tonya spent her time as a boxer. The audiences may have expected her to lose, but Tonya had a brief winning streak before she was eventually outmatched. Her time as a boxer didn’t last very long and her fights indeed received more than a little bad press at the end. Additionally, she was booed on entering the arena at least once.
For part of her adult life, Tonya has been a star or at least a news-worthy infamous face. How did she feed herself in between those paid TV gigs? She did what anyone in a rough position would do. Tonya took the jobs she could get. She painted houses and did other piecemeal projects to keep her head above water. That at least is something we can admire and give her positive credit for. Somewhere along the line, the disgraced star athlete remarried and had a son as well. Most of her time isn’t spent in the limelight anymore. Tonya seems to live an often quiet family life, but that doesn’t stop her from testing the waters to see if there are more opportunities for a few minutes of fame.
Dancing With The Stars & Cooking With the Worst
The athletic ability has never been something Tonya was lacking. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that she was tapped for the first all-athletes season of Dancing With The Stars. The show tiptoed around her personal history and never mentioned it directly. The closest they got was when Tonya dedicated a dance to her father. She gave a tearful speech about how he was always in her corner, even when it seemed like the rest of the world was out to get her. Unsurprisingly the former ice dancer did well on the show. Sadly, even though it shouldn’t have surprised anyone that an ice dancer could learn another style, a whole lot of people didn’t like it. Fans were outraged when she won a spot in the season finale. She didn’t win, but she did get in great shape and lost some unwanted weight. This year Tonya appeared again on the celebrity edition of Worst Cooks in America. She may not be the best in the kitchen, but she was better than the competition. Tonya managed the best three-course meal on the show and took home ‘the gold.’
What is Tonya Harding worth these days? Well, the lesson the public learned from her scandal is priceless, but the woman herself is estimated to have about $30,000 in total Net Worth. It’s always sad to see someone with so much talent and raw physical prowess fall so far. The moral of her story is that crime really doesn’t pay, even if someone else does all the dirty work. Do you think Tonya got what she deserved, or does the former skater deserve a break after all this time?