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Tonya Harding's Rep Quits After She Allegedly Wanted to Stop Reporters From Asking About Her Past

People logo People 1/12/2018 Adam Carlson

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Tonya Harding’s longtime representative Michael Rosenberg this week ended their business relationship because, he claimed, she demanded reporters agree to not ask her about her past — or face a hefty fine.

Rosenberg announced he was quitting in a Facebook post on Thursday later shared by two longtime Olympic reporters, Christine Brennan and Philip Hersh.

“Unfortunately, we reached an impasse today regarding how treat the press in the future,” Rosenberg wrote. “Her [Harding’s] adamant and final position is that reporters must sign an affidavit stating that they won’t ask her anything ‘about the past’ or they will be fined $25,000.”

a woman posing for a picture © Provided by TIME Inc. “Obviously, it doesn’t work that way; and therefore I’ve chosen to terminate our business relationship,” he continued.

PEOPLE was unable to independently verify the post’s authenticity and it does not appear on Rosenberg’s Facebook page, meaning if it existed that it has since been deleted or hidden from public view.

Messages left with Rosenberg as well as Harding’s representatives were not immediately returned on Friday.

“I am sad as I write this,” Rosenberg wrote, “but at the same time I’m happy that I had such an adventure with the movie and with recreating a new positive image for her in the public eye. And I sincerely wish her the best.”

“I think all of you who followed me on ‘this adventure’ and offered me such encouragement and support along the way,” he concluded his post. “I’ll never forget it.”

Rosenberg’s relationship with Harding, 47, dates back decades, according to media accounts, and he has alternately been described as her agent, adviser, manager and publicist.

In a 2014 profile, he said he began working as her manager after she became the first American female figure skater to land a triple axel jump in competition, in 1991. But he said he first ended their relationship in November 1993 over conflicts with her then-husband, Jeff Gillooly.

Two months later, Harding’s rival, Nancy Kerrigan, was clubbed on the leg at a practice before the national skating championships — beginning a bizarre saga that ultimately ended with Harding’s ban from amateur skating and her pleading guilty to conspiring to hinder the prosecution of those responsible for the attack.

She largely remained a pariah in the years since, both in the sport and popular culture, while maintaining that she did not help plan the assault (though U.S. Figure Skating found she had “prior knowledge” of it).

A new biopic about Harding’s life, I, Tonya, starring Margot Robbie, has put a renewed focus on her side of the story, including her hardscrabble life before the Kerrigan incident and the domestic violence she faced.

Rosenberg was a key figure in getting Harding to participate in that film.

“I was like, ‘I don’t want to go through this again. I’ve been through enough, and I have my son now,’ ” Harding recalled to The Hollywood Reporter earlier this month about first being approached by I, Tonya screenwriter Steven Rogers.

“Michael Rosenberg, my manager, talked me into doing this possibly as closure,” Harding said.

The resulting press tour for the movie has brought Harding fully back into the national spotlight, including an appearance at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, a profile in The New York Times and a two-hour special on ABC.

For her part, Kerrigan has yet to see I, Tonya (in which she is a peripheral figure), telling the Globe this week:

As to her feelings about Harding’s Hollywood treatment, Kerrigan said, “It’s not really part of my life. As you say, I was the victim. Like, that’s my role in this whole thing. That’s it.”

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