The former Olympic figure skater is part of the all-athletes line-up in Season 26, which premiered Monday, April 30, but already has a target on her back from fans who don't think she deserves a chance on the popular reality show.
They are, of course, still upset over the infamous 1994 attack on Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan (who competed on season 24 of Dancing With the Stars), where she was clubbed on the knee by an attacker during practice for the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
It was soon determined that the attack was arranged by Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly, along with Shawn Eckardt and his friend Derrick Smith, who drove the getaway car. Gillooly and Eckhart pleaded guilty to racketeering for their involvement in the attack.
Harding, 47, denied having any involvement or knowledge of the attack, but pleaded guilty to conspiring to hinder prosecution. She was required to pay a $160,000 fine and was sentenced to three years’ probation and 500 hours community service. She was banned for life from the U.S. Figure Skating Association.
But Harding says the show and pro dancer Sasha Farber, her partner, have helped her find her way.
“I just have lost myself over the years. And my son and my husband have kept me alive. But this truly [is] something here,” she told Entertainment Tonight prior to the premiere.
Nonetheless, fans took to Twitter to voice their opinion.
Oh good so Tonya's already annoying #DWTS— Nicole Grams (@NicoleGramsH) May 1, 2018
I am watching #DWTS because nothing is on and I figure that the Athletes are the best athletes. I hope Tonya is out early, she doesnt get rewarded because she helped do something so despicable.— Mackie Dean (@MackieDean) May 1, 2018
#DWTS I hope Tonya Harding falls on her face. She doesn't deserve to be on tv.— Breanna Hawk (@Breanna0613) May 1, 2018
Dancing With the Stars airs Mondays at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.
Photo credit: ABC