TODAY   |  August 23, 2013

Nancy Kerrigan speaks out on father’s death

The figure skating legend hasn’t spoken publicly about the case since 2010, when her brother was found not guilty of manslaughter, but guilty of assualt and battery in their father’s death. She speaks exclusively to Matt Lauer on TODAY nearly 20 years after an attack almost took her out of the 1994 Olympics.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> skating legend nancy kerrigan speaking out about the 2010 arrest of her brother in connection with their father's death. we'll talk to nancy exclusively in a moment but first her story. talented, ambitious and elegant on the ice. nancy kerrigan was a sight to behold.

>> nancy was the it girl of the kerrigan family.

>> a beloved figure skater, she captured america's imagination.

>> nicely done.

>> and won bronze at the 1992 winter olympics . two years later she made lead lines again after being attacked while training. the vicious assault was planned by tonya harding 's ex-husband.

>> pretty up he set and angry that someone would do this.

>> kerrigan went on to win a silver medal in 1994 as her overjoyed parents cheered on.

>> brenda and daniel kerrigan 's daughter has seized the moment.

>> kerrigan moved beyond the devastating episode. her skating career thrived. but in 2010 tragedy struck again. her 70-year-old father died of heart failure in his home after an altercation there with his son mark, nancy 's brother. prosecutors charged mark with involuntary manslaughter in his father's death.

>> my family has never believed at all that my brother had anything to do with my father's death.

>> cleared of manslaughter, mark kerrigan was convicted of assault and battery for the attack on his father. a family legacy with much joy, great pain, and many chapters yet to be written.

>> the fact is what everyone remembers is that nancy kerrigan was the good girl.

>> nancy kerrigan joins us now exclusively. how have you been.

>> good, good to see you again.

>> you kept a low provile at least about speaking out. how have you been? what's life been like?

>> pretty busy. i drive my kids everywhere. i have three kids. matthew is 16, brian is 8 and nicole is 5, going into kindergarten. so i don't know --

>> you're a mom.

>> i drive and drive and cook and clean, you know, that's basically what i do now.

>> how is your family doing? it's been tough since 2010 when your dad passed away after this altercation with your brother, living through the trial, i know you and your mom stood by mark through the entire thing. you didn't think he should be charged in it? what toll has it taken on your family?

>> we have always been a strong family and close nit. my mom is as blunt as they come and honest and she tells you what she thinks and how it is. yeah, he shouldn't have been charged and then my dad had a heart attack and that's it. since then we did the same thing we have always done. take things one day at a time and you get through it and life is challenging and hard. we stick together, and, you know, move on.

>> mark served time in jail for this. he was released about a year ago. how is he doing? has he gotten the help he needs? he had difficult times in the past.

>> yeah, he moved on. he's working every day. gets up at like 5:00 and is dpon by 5:30 in the morning working and just getting on with his life. you know, it's -- i'm sure not easy when it's brought up like this because unfortunately being my sister it's brought up again which is too bad for him because he wants to move on with his life.

>> the other thing we mention in that piece is it has been nearly 20 years since the episode in detroit where that happened.

>> it was the '94 olympics.

>> where you got clubbed on the knee with that baton. does it seem like it's been 20 years? when you look back and saw that tape? what's it like to watch that video?

>> i guess it's like watching anything sort of horrific. it's disturbing to see anybody in pain and to think it's me --

>> a little bit of an out of body experience.

>> a lifetime ago. but it hurts to see anybody in such pain. it's a long time ago. i moved on.

>> i understand that in the 20 years since then people seem to say one or two things. either should have won the gold medal or congratulations on the gold medal . it's funny how people's memories get blurred.

>> i only got second place by .1 or something. people thought i would have won. people think she must have won. they think that. it was exciting and i was into going and competing again after being attacked was such a thrill to be part of the olympic team again and representing our country.

>> i remember that night and those games after the incident in detroit how much attention and pressure was on you that night of the finals. it must have been overwhelming.

>> i guess. but i was sort of -- i don't know how you can get in that total focus. you can train and you can learn to focus and you can learn to do that but it's to a different level when it's such high level pressure. just it's that -- i think only a few people maybe get to but through adversity, you know, through having to work through something. it's a little more than just concentration. i don't know how you get there without someone forcing you into it.

>> well, you look great. i'm glad life is going to well as a mom. still skating some in the fall and winter?

>> yeah, i have pretty much done almost every year i've done events. jerry puts on different events. he has a skating show he is doing this winter and producing. but i get to come down to new york and support him. i was here last night at the taste of tennis. he started world tennis day. a lot of tennis in our family too.

>> great to see you. nice to catch up. 7:38. let's