Tonya Harding's mother denies she abused her, says they were never 'trailer trash'

Tonya Harding's mother, LaVona "Sandy" Golden, is denying she physically abused Harding throughout her childhood in a sit-down with ABC News.

Golden's interview is featured in the highly anticipated two-hour special, Truth and Lies: The Tonya Harding Story, which airs Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ABC. One of Harding's most serious abuse claims include Golden allegedly throwing a steak knife at her in high school that landed in Harding's forearm, which Golden denies ever occurred. The scene is depicted in the film inspired by Harding's life, the critically acclaimed I, Tonya, starring Allison Janney as Golden and Margot Robbie as Harding. 

“I didn’t abuse any of my children,” Golden tells ABC News. “Spanked? Yes, [I] spanked. Absolutely, positively you [have] got to show them right from wrong.”

Golden admits to spanking Harding once with a hairbrush at a competition, in response to Harding's claim that her mother dragged her into the bathroom and beat her with a hairbrush. As for the alleged knife incident, Golden claims her daughter has a history of lying.

“Why would I throw a steak knife at anybody?” Golden asks. “She’s lied so much she doesn’t know what isn’t a lie anymore.”

Tonya Harding through the years
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Tonya Harding through the years
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - CIRCA 1991: Figure Skater Tonya Harding of the United States competes in the U.S. Figure Skating Championships circa 1991 at the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
OAKLAND - 1991: Tonya Harding of the USA performs in the fall Skate America figure skating competition held in 1991 at the Oakland-Alameda County Arena in Oakland, California. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
American figure skater Tonya Harding performs at the 1991 World Championships. (Photo by Gilbert Iundt; Jean-Yves Ruszniewski/TempSport/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED - CIRCA 1992: Figure Skater Tonya Harding of the United States competes in a figure skating competition circa 1992. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding posing in front of brown backdrop (no caps). (Photo by Rex Rystedt/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, : U.S. figure skating champion Tonya Harding (R) listens to her coach Diane Rawlinson during a practice session early 18 January 1994 in Portland, Oregon. Federal and local investigators are trying to determine if Tonya Harding's money, some of it from Olympic sources, paid for the attack on figure skating rival Nancy Kerrigan. (Photo credit should read POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 24: Young fans of U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding look on while she takes a break from training at the Clackamas Town Center mall rink, 24 January 1994, as a grand jury continues its meetings on whether to indict her in the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan. A news report in the Portland Oregonian newspaper said prosecutors have enough evidence to charge Harding. (Photo credit should read EUGENE GARCIA/AFP/Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - JANUARY 27: U.S. figure skater Tonya Harding reads from a prepared text 27 January 1994 during a press conference at the Multnomah County Athletic Club, Oregon. Harding admitted that she failed to tell authorities what she knew about the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan. Harding also denied planning to injure Kerrigan and asked to remain on the U.S. Olympic team. (Photo credit should read CRAIG STRONG/AFP/Getty Images)
Tonya Harding (L) and Nancy Kerrigan, both from USA, during a training session of the 1994 Winter Olympics. It's just one month after Harding became notorious for allegedly conspiring to harm competitor Nancy Kerrigan in an attack. (Photo by Dimitri Iundt/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 9: Tonya Harding sits for an interview in Portland. OR. for the program 'Eye to Eye with Connie Chung.' Image dated February 9, 1994. (Photo by CBS via Getty Images)
HAMAR - FEBRUARY 17: U.S.A. figure skaters Nancy Kerrigan, background, and Tonya Harding, foreground, face each other on the ice during a practice session at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Hamar, Norway on Feb. 17, 1994. (Photo by John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)
LILLEHAMMER, NORWAY - FEBRUARY 23: Tonya Harding of the USA competes in the Technical Program portion of the Women's Figure Skating competition of the 1994 Winter Olympics on February 23, 1994 at the Hamar Olympic Hall in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
LILLEHAMMER, NORWAY - FEBRUARY 25: Tonya Harding of the USA competes in the Free Skate portion of the Women's Figure Skating competition of the 1994 Winter Olympics on February 25, 1994 at the Hamar Olympic Hall in Lillehammer, Norway. (Photo by David Madison/Getty Images)
FILES, NORWAY - DECEMBER 15: US figure skaters Tonya Harding (L) and Nancy Kerrigan avoid each other during a training session 17 February in Hamar, Norway, during the Winter Olympics. Kerrigan was hit on the knee in January 1994 during the US Olympic Trials and it was later learned that Harding's ex-husband and bodyguard masterminded the attack in hopes of improving Harding's chances at the US Trials and the Olympics. (COLOR KEY: Harding has yellow) (Photo credit should read VINCENT AMALVY/AFP/Getty Images)
Tonya Harding and Paula Jones square off at the official weigh-in for 'Celebrity Boxing.' The televison show will air March 13 on Fox TV. (Photo by Ted Soqui/Corbis via Getty Images)
CAMUS, WA - AUGUST 8: Former Olympic figure skater Tonya Harding speaks to reporters about her sentencing, as she exits the Camus/Washougal Municipal Court on August 8, 2002 in Camus, Washington. Harding was sentenced to 30 days detention, with 20 days suspended, for violating her probation from an assault case after admitting she was driving drunk when arrested in April of 2002. (Photo by Greg Wahl-Stephens/Getty Images)
ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - JUNE 13: Tonya Harding attends the opening weekend of Smokin' Joe Frazier's Sportzbox at Bally's Atlantic City on June 13, 2009 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. (Photo by Bobby Bank/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 05: Tonya Harding attends Premiere Of Neon's 'I, Tonya' at the Egyptian Theatre on December 5, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 05: Tonya Harding and Margot Robbie attend NEON and 30WEST Present the Los Angeles Premiere of 'I, Tonya' Supported By Svedka on December 5, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for NEON)

Golden also disputes Harding's comments on the nature of her upbringing. 

“Tonya herself called us trailer trash," Golden says. "We were never trailer trash. We had a beautiful new trailer. We didn’t live in filth or dirt or anything that I would call unusual.”

One claim she also disputes is Harding's allegation that Golden would mix a large amount of brandy with her coffee in the morning, then drive her to school when Harding was still a child. The former ice skater says she began to notice that her mother "was drinking a lot" when she was 11 years old.

"I would have coffee, and sometimes I would put brandy flavoring in it," Golden says in response. "I loved brandy flavoring. You can't get drunk on flavoring -- sorry to disappoint you."

Despite their rocky relationship, the mother of four does have fond memories of her famous daughter growing up, specifically, her natural ice skating ability.

“Whatever the other people were doing, she turned around right behind them and did the same thing,” Golden recalls. “She wasn’t supposed to be able to do any of it, but she just went and did it.”

“Tonya was my little dynamo,” she adds of Harding, whose father is her third husband. “I called her my little twinkle, my little star.”

Interest in Harding's life has resurged with the release of I, Tonya. Harding, 47, attended the Golden Globes on Sunday, and Janney won a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of Golden.

In a clip from the ABC special, Harding talked about Robbie's portrayal of her.

"I felt so sorry for her that she had to actually play me, you know?" she said. "You got this top, beautiful actress that actually has to try to -- and did and succeeded -- go through what I went through? When I watched Margot playing me, and the looks that she had, I knew that she had been studying me for quite some time. And when she told me, 'Well, I'd been studying you for almost a year,' I was, like, 'Oh, my god.'"

Watch below:


Tonya Harding and Tommy Wiseau Party Together After the Golden Globes -- See the Pic!

Tonya Harding Nearly Walks Out of Piers Morgan Interview After Being Told to 'Stop Playing the Victim'

Nancy Kerrigan Finally Breaks Her Silence on Tonya Harding's Redemption Tour for 'I, Tonya'

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