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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Harding: 'Bushy-Haired Man' Abducted Me

PORTLAND, Oregon -- Figure skater Tonya Harding says she foiled an abduction attempt by ramming her truck into a tree and running away from a bushy-haired man who tried to commandeer her vehicle.


Harding told police the man abducted her Wednesday outside her home at knifepoint and forced her to drive to a rural area.


She said she drove for about 30 minutes as the man pressed a knife to her face. Then the man told her to stop on a dirt road.


Instead, she rammed the tree, grabbed the keys and ran. As the man ran behind her, she hid in some brush before darting back to her truck.


Aside from a slap mark on her face, Harding was unharmed.


Sheriff's deputies, who have responded to Harding's calls for help before, said they were taking the matter seriously.


"We'll treat it at face value and investigate it just as we would investigate anybody. But at the same time, this type of report is unusual," said sheriff's spokesman Damon Coates. "I have no reason to think it's false at this point, but it would be a poor investigation not to look at that."


The abduction was reported the same day the U.S. Figure Skating Championships began in Nashville, Tennessee, and 10 days before Harding's scheduled skating comeback -- a three-minute exhibition program in Reno, Nevada.


Harding has been banned for life from amateur competition for her role in the 1994 attack on her Olympic rival, Nancy Kerrigan, at the U.S. Championships. Harding pleaded guilty to conspiring to cover up the attack, in which Kerrigan was whacked on the knee.


Harding could not comment on Wednesday's incident because of exclusive media contracts related to her Feb. 22 performance at Reno's Flamingo Hilton, said her agent, David Hans Schmidt.


"There's no abduction preclusion in the contracts. I might have to put that in from now on. God only knows," Schmidt said.