Preview 'Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story'

ABC News' Amy Robach details her interview with Tonya Harding 20 years after the incident.
3:00 | 01/10/18

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Transcript for Preview 'Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story'
It is the interview and green line is talking about troop analyze what kind writing for Ingram but joins us this afternoon. To talk about the interview that you actually conducted first. Those who liked. She was actually very likable and I think that was a little shocking to me because so many of us. Knew what we saw on the news she can be very abrasive and interviews. And we formed an opinion about her and I understand mostly surrounding the Nancy Kerrigan attack that incident. But when you actually sit down with Tonya Harding skated with her on the ice. When you talk with we have for our interview which they believe is the longest in your view it actually covered on where you sit down. For work continuous hours and you speak on the record. I appreciated her authenticity I appreciated the colors she brought to the conversation. And I felt like I understood understood her in a waived that I never had before she's not playing the victim. But she is talking abouts in extremely. Horrific thing she says happened to her from the moment she was born basically where she was. She said abused by her mother her entire life verbally and physically and then. She went for two another abuse of a relic relationship she says with her ex husband. Jeff Lillie and you really. Can't believe everything she survived and then she got abuse she says from the skating community and then the fans. She is on top of the world at one point as a figure skaters she was. On the first women to do to triple axles. She was at UC NN. And then all of the sort of unravels. And fell apart. How does she described the going from on top of the world as far as the figure skater till absolute rock bottom they have kicked her out of the break a world so her professional life. Was as you said. At its total. And as. You would expect those two intersected and her personal life she says brought down her professional life and she. Started you know dealing with this abusive relationship she says. And it brought her down she didn't practice hard enough she was chain smoking she was partying she wasn't doing what she should be doing to BE. At the top. For field mean skating at that level requires. Dedication 24 hours today and her personal life she says. Pulled her into the gutter basically teen think her story is one that people will relate to are they gonna walk away from the national. Still made no I don't know. I don't know if you really hate Tonya Harding if you're suddenly insane when I want her. But I do think and this is part of why I love what I do you. If we can open people's minds suggested it if I can open your heart just did it by showing you would cite it time yet. And showing you. Some of what she had to deal with that you didn't know before. You just might soft in your view her and I think that that's something I hope people walk away. Feeling now it doesn't mean that there's an excuse for her participation. In what happened to Nancy Kerrigan and it doesn't take away. The punishment she received and and most people think that she got off light she thinks that she paid the ultimate price because she luster skating career. She had no education she really. Said she had no other skills this is the one paying. That she loved that she dedicated her life to and that she was hoping she was gonna make money from and it was all taken away when she pleaded guilty. Well we have a clip from your specialists at. How much that it lets her ex I'd like to begin by saying how sorry I am about what happens Nancy Kerrigan felt like combined. She'd been crowbar in the knee yeah I. This isn't saying this was almost like something happening disease scripts and had he. Of old Christine princess and the evil wicked stepsister and you say you when Nancy Kerrigan her friend. They couldn't stand each. That's interesting because she says there are friends other people's consider it wouldn't you say about her relationship with Nancy cared. She said it was great she said she had no reason to want to take Nancy out. And she said that they got along just fine I don't know that they were best friends and that they call each other hung out. But that they were cordial I think it most able to count that is indeed true but certainly they were being pitted against one another as good girl vs back. There's a lot of attention being given to her and now the movie coming out with this special. How that she handling all that attention. I don't think that she's excited. That maybe just maybe some people won't let her differently now I mean can you imagine and again I'm not taking away from what she. Pleaded guilty to but can you imagine here entire life. Being considered a pariah act. The butt of everyone's joke the evil step sister as we say in our in our special just. One of the most hated women in the world. And she wants to be able to tell her whole story to the people have a better understanding so I think she's excited at the opportunity. Finely need be getting out of that villain role. That she's been forced into her entire. Do you think that's part of the story that maybe the public didn't know or didn't understand. This was all unfolding Jennifer sat I mean an and I'm among them. I started my journal took her 95 this all came to a head in 94 so I mean I thought. That I knew just about everything I follow that I was watching it as so many people were across the world. And yet there were so much I didn't I didn't realize she brings this up. In the skating world. It's one of the it. Perhaps is the only sport Olympic sport specifically where you're judged on your costume you're judged on your Herring make up almost like. A beauty passion. Not just on the atlantis' and in so she faced so much scrutiny because she didn't have the money she didn't have the refinement she didn't grow up. With. Any ability to be able to buy beautiful costumes or. To you have the culture to to to know that certain uses and certain hair and make it she just didn't have that she keep the wrong side of the tracks and she was judged for that. She. Thinks that that's unacceptable. In an athletic event and I don't disagree with Ayers I never really thought about it in those terms. Also I didn't realize what she was up against with the judges and and and just the unfair scrutiny they didn't want her to be. The representative of the United States of America for all the things I just mentioned for she she was dealing with that and at the same time. I didn't realize how abusive her relationship was she says it was where she feared for her life multiple times. Just the amount of in Q she describes was really unthinkable to me and I did not realize and I really didn't know. They knew she said and you Sheen and mom had a rocky relationship it now. The extent to which she claims that abuse happening when you really see it in her words how she says it happened. It breaks your heart. Seeing the clips from her from this inner view and thinks it's over before it seems like she doesn't really care hoping she does. Well but she does that bastard you still care what people think and she did Nell. And then she hesitated laughed and said yes. Lake of course they do is I'd she doesn't want to care. But she does don't we all delete all deep down actually really care what other people think of us of course we and she cares and she's in she cared back and two she had that tough girl. Attitude to I think protect herself. From what people were really thinking about here. She always seem to have a little bit of a kitten. Was willing to say kind of bluntly whatever she thought it was appropriate or not appropriate that he and she is sweet sleeper out a couple of times you know she she says it. Like she feels it's. But it's interesting she says and this is part of campaigning you can really feel it and see it and she's not playing victim here she really. Even tried to hide the pain when she said no one ever who eat. When I said things were happening to me because they said of time he's tough. What do you mean I'm sure she gives it right back and somehow there was no sympathy for her ever. As an abuse victim because she seemed so tough on the outside and I think you can you can see it on her face you can see it your body language when she describes. That feeling of never being believed or considered valuable enough to fight war or two per tacked. And that was the thing I think she never felt protect. Didn't you let him believe her. I don't know I don't know I mean look I'll tell you I. They she was very authentic and and very forthright in most of which he said there were a couple of things were I was like. And I'll let people decide for themselves whether or not they think she was being truthful. I think she was for authentic self and I'm gonna let. People who watch the special decide for themselves there's a lot to way she she gives us a lot and you know we heard for the first time from her she's never admitted that she. Knew anything before the attack. Will my jaw dropped when she said to me. I overheard my ex husband Jeff believe and Shawn Eckert. His friend talking about taking someone out a month before. The attack on to carry and we never heard her admit app before. Does he say that she knew with Nancy note she said they did not meet she said they did not name anyone specific. But she thought. They were perhaps joking and she quickly sit guys c'mon I can skate needs someone to be taken out for me to make that Olympic team. And I can hear her saying that what I had a hard time with his when I asked her. Then the next question so weak when you hear a month later that Nancy Kerrigan has been attacked she's been literally taken out. You didn't immediately think of that conversation. And she said it took her few days because she was so focused on it. I'm. It's hard to believe that she wouldn't remember. I would have remembered that but. I'll let everyone else judgment and watch I mean it really is a fascinating minor piano. And two hours. To judge what they think they're that truth and lies at the time our story will air. 9:8 central there's.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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