Former figure skater Tonya Harding cited for drunken driving

Sunday, April 21st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

BATTLE GROUND, Wash. (AP) _ Former figure skater Tonya Harding was cited for drunken driving early Saturday after she crashed her pickup into a ditch, police said.

Neither Harding nor her passenger was hurt in the accident, in Battle Ground, just northwest of Portland, Ore.

Deputies from the Clark County Sheriff's office who arrived on the scene thought Harding appeared under the influence of alcohol, and she failed a field sobriety test and breath test.

Authorities did not release Harding's blood-alcohol content.

Harding was cited but not detained. She could not immediately be reached for comment.

Harding's life has taken several bizarre and sad turns since she was implicated in the 1994 knee-whacking of rival skater Nancy Kerrigan. Two years ago, she was sentenced to three days in jail for hitting her boyfriend with a hubcap during a drunken argument.

In January, a judge ordered her to vacate her home near Camas, Wash., for failing to pay rent and late fee totaling $4,530.

Last month, Harding achieved a triumph of sorts when she pummeled Paula Jones in the ring during Fox's ``Celebrity Boxing'' special. Physically fit and appearing to relish playing up her notorious persona, Harding chased the cowering Jones all over the ring, and the spectacle drew more than 15 million viewers.

Harding was banned for life by the U.S. Figure Skating Association for her role in the 1994 attack on Kerrigan at the U.S. championships in Detroit. Harding, a two-time U.S. champion, claimed former husband Jeff Gillooly came up with the plot and carried it out with friends.

Harding was convicted of hindering prosecution, fined $110,000 and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service.

Kerrigan recovered in time to finish second in the Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Harding finished eighth.