Gillooly pleaded guilty to racketeering at his arraignment hearing in January 1994 for the attack on Nancy Kerrigan, the figure skating rival of his ex-wife, Tonya Harding. The figure skating scandal that shocked the world solidified his last name in pop culture.
During the 1994 Summer Olympics, Jeff Gillooly, the ex-husband of Olympic hopeful Tonya Harding, conspired with her bodyguard to hire a man to injure Nancy Kerrigan’s knee. On television, an assault ensued during which the assailant smashed Kerrigan’s leg with a police baton, then fled in a blind panic leaving Kerrigan screaming, “Why?”.
As Gillooly’s name entered the public lexicon, it bore meanings that were far from flattering. Gillooly is a verb that means ‘to kneecap’; Gillooly is a noun that means anything that is badly thought out, mismanaged, incompetently handled, or poorly executed.
Among the synonyms for clumsy would be bungling, inept, amateurish or bush leagued.
When the 26-year-old Oregon native got out of prison after pleading guilty to racketeering for his role in the attack, he changed his surname to Stone – not surprising at all.
In recent weeks, his name has been thrust back into the public consciousness as a result of the release of the movie I, Tonya, which is currently playing in theaters across the country, starring Sebastian Stan as Gillooly, himself. The movie earned $14 million at the box office, and Allison Janney, who plays Harding’s mother, has already won a Golden Globe and a Screen Actors Guild award.
In the category of Best Actress in a Supporting Role, Janney is nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role, and in the category of Best Actress in a Leading Role, Margot Robbie, who plays Harding, is nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
Based on social media posts, Gillooly/Stone seems to be taking the incident in stride, even joking about the attack on Kerrigan that landed him in jail (though he has since removed some Facebook posts from the public eye).
On November 4, the 49-year-old posted a trailer for the film, which received 10 likes from 116 friends on Facebook. He wrote: “Oh yes, I am aware of the Steven Rogers-written film being made in the comments section of a Facebook post. Over the past few years, he has been working on it.
I had dinner and drinks with Sebastian Stan at Oba last December. The experience was very enjoyable, and I believe that he did a pretty good job with my mannerisms. Including those that I am self-conscious about.”
Despite insisting that she was unaware of the attack, Harding later pleaded guilty to conspiring to impede prosecution of the attackers. When Gillooly was released from prison in September, he posted a photo which poked fun at Kerrigan’s assault.
The 49-year-old Stone, who no longer sports his trademark mustache, lives in Clackamas, Oregon with his third wife, Christy, as shown in the photograph. A friend of his on Facebook joked: ‘You’re self-conscious… absolutely not.’ She continued, ‘I can’t wait to see it.’ Wishing you the best of luck.
Have you already seen it? Were they able to make you appear to be more of an A-hole than you really were? The best way I can describe that is with the utmost respect. I know Jeff to be very kind and caring, since I have always known him to be so. Nowhere near a bad guy I have seen on television.’ Stone wrote: ‘It is a movie. It looks pretty funny. As far as I am aware, I have not seen the film.
However, this was not the first time Stone had mentioned the film – or the scandal – on social media. He shared a photograph of a smiling Harding and Kerrigan next to one another in September emblazoned with the words ‘BACK WHEN “TAKING A KNEE” MEANT TAKING A KNEE.’
One woman wrote: ‘I have been seeing this, glad you have a sense of humor’, and one man wrote: ‘Funny glad you find humor, you are doing well buddy’.
Thirteen Facebook friends liked the post and commented with laughter emojis. On the other hand, the last comment on the thread was far less positive: ‘You’re an ass’.
After a practice session at the 1994 US Figure Skating Championships in Detroit, hit man Shane Stant struck Kerrigan’s knee with a police baton; Kerrigan collapsed, crying ‘Why? As Stone, left, noted in a letter to Stan, right, he thought Stan ‘did a pretty good job’ with Harding’s mannerisms; Stan stated in an interview that after meeting Stone, he left believing that Stone “really loved” Harding.
Additionally, Stone shared Sebastian Stan’s Instagram post showing the actor in character, mustache and all, earlier last year. Stone wrote on Facebook: ‘I find myself oddly attracted to this man,’ while his friend Justin Rytel commented: ‘Your stash was waaaay better.’ Our researchers have made several attempts to contact Stone, but to no avail.
Additionally, Stan has described the meeting he had with Stone concerning the new movie. In a statement to Entertainment Weekly, the actor stated, “He chose the restaurant, so we went there, sat down, and the first thing he asked me was, “So … why would anyone want to do this?
In other words, why would you want to do this? What makes you want to be a part of this film? ”
“Oh!” I thought. Obviously, the script was excellent, and it is such a wild story,” and I remember him saying something like, “Yeah, but no one will be interested in seeing this.”. In my mind, I said, “Oh, I don’t know! ”
As Stan noted in an interview with Screen Crush in September, the meeting with his real-life counterpart helped him ‘to piece together some things.’
‘Just little things,’ Stan said. He had a number of manerisms, the way he laughed, and the way he spoke. In spite of the fact that I truly believed that he loved her, I still saw someone who was looking back and wondering, “Wow, what happened?
Think about it for a moment. It’s a bit tragic. During the 1990s, 15 minutes of fame was all that was important to all of them.
As Stone, pictured with his wife, nurse Christy Novasio, told a 2013 interviewer, his involvement in the attack was ‘pretty stupid’ and ‘pretty ridiculous’ but he did not regret it because he was happy with his family, his friends, and his life. Another question is, “What do your kids think about this? ”
The two things that have come up with my children are as follows. At a PTA meeting when Haley was very young, a girl approached me and said, “Are you Jeff? I replied, “Yes, I am Jeff.”
She then asked, “Are you Jeff Gillooly? Yes, I am Jeff Gillooly. I apologize for being rude. However, does that embarrass you in any way? ”
“No, it does not embarrass me.” And then she asked, “What if your daughter wants to be a figure skater? In that case, I will ensure that she wins.” That is the only time I have ever been called Being Jeff Gillooly.
In high school, my daughter was given an extra credit question that asked, “Back in ’94, who was Tonya Harding’s husband? ”
As she raised her hand, she said, “Jeff Gillooly.” And the big bonus question was, “What was his new name? She responded, “Stone.” And [the teacher asked], “How do you know that?” Then she replied, “Because it’s my dad.” It was kind of funny.
As a result, he is no longer in regular contact with Harding, who has also remarried and has a son. There is no doubt in his mind that his ex-wife was aware of the plot to torpedo Kerrigan.
‘From what I can tell, she’s a very unhappy person,’ he said to Deadspin. I am not sure. I haven’t spoken to her in 20 years, but I sometimes see her on television and I’ve read some articles about her personal life and the difficulties she has there, and it’s sad to me.
The fact that we rode her career is probably the one regret I have if I were to pick one. There is no doubt that we rode her career. It has been argued that she was the greatest figure skater ever – a woman’s figure skater.
In my opinion, it is still the case. There was something we did that was extremely stupid that ruined her life. It is unlikely that she will be remembered for her exceptional skills as a figure skater.
She will be remembered for what I persuaded her to do.