Sufjan Stevens may have released a song in tribute to “one of the greatest figure skaters of all time,” Tonya Harding, but she doesn’t see the track as a compliment.
Harding, 47, who was banned from skating after pleading guilty to hindering the prosecution following the infamous attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan, lashed out at the media — Stevens included — as she chats with the New York Times.
The star, who has done numerous interviews lately about the release of the movie “I, Tonya”, asks: “Who gives these people permission to use my name?”
Stevens names the recently released track after Harding, with some of the gushing lyrics including: “Tonya shines bright in the pantheon of American history simply because she never stopped trying her hardest. She fought classism, sexism, physical abuse and public rebuke to become an incomparable American legend.”
Clearly unimpressed, Harding says she needed the media’s protection back then when, she claims, she was being abused by her ex-husband Jeff Gillooly and her mother LaVona.
“The media abused me in the first place. You all disrespected me and it hurt. I’m a human being and it hurt my heart. I was a liar to everybody but still, 23 years later, finally everybody can just eat crow. That’s what I have to say.”
RELATED: Tonya Harding Abruptly Ends Interview After Clashing With Piers Morgan Live On ‘Good Morning Britain’
Harding’s career took a downward spiral after her competitor Kerrigan, who was 23 at the time, was attacked at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit as she left the Cobo Arena on January 6, 1994. She was clubbed on the left lower thigh by an attacker, who was later identified as Shane Stant.
Harding insists she didn’t know Gillooly and his co-conspirator, Shawn Eckhardt, had hired a hit man to critically injure her biggest rival.
RELATED: Margot Robbie Talks ‘I, Tonya’, Admits Playing Real-Life Character Was ‘Intimidating’
Since the attack, she says, “I’ve had rats thrown into my mailboxes, [expletive] left on my door, left in my mailbox, all over my trucks. You name it, it’s been done to me.”
Harding speaks of the abuse she’s endured over the years and its portrayal in the movie: “People don’t understand that what you guys see in the movie is nothing. That was the smallest little bits and pieces. I mean, my face was bruised. My face was put through a mirror, not just broken onto it. Through it. I was shot. That was true.”
Both Harding’s ex-husband and her mother have denied abuse despite the claims.
“I, Tonya” is in theatres now.