On January 11, Harding was interviewed for KOIN-TV in Portland, Oregon. Harding was asked whether someone she knew could have planned the attack. Harding replied, \"I have definitely thought about it.\" Gillooly stood in her view behind the camera during the interview. The interview ended with Harding saying, \"No one controls my life but me...if there's something in there that I don't like, I'm going to change it.\" Harding also confirmed she had spoken with FBI agents in Detroit and again in Portland. On January 13, Eckardt and Smith were arrested. On January 14, the United States Figure Skating Association (USFSA) made a statement on whether Eckardt's arrest affected Harding's Olympic placement: \"We will deal only with the facts.\" Harding and Gillooly's separate lawyers confirmed the couple were in daily contact and cooperation with law enforcement. On January 15, Harding and Gillooly spoke with reporters, but declined to comment about the investigation. On January 16, Harding's lawyer held a press conference in which he read a statement denying Harding's involvement in the attack on Kerrigan. Harding left her home that evening to practice with her coaches, where she spoke with reporters and performed a triple Axel.
On February 5, the USFSA disciplinary panel stated there were reasonable grounds to believe Harding had violated the sport's code of ethics. Her admitted failure to report about an assault on a fellow competitor, supported by her FBI transcripts, led to Harding being formally charged with \"[making] false statements about her knowledge\". The USFSA recommended that she face a disciplinary hearing. Claire Ferguson, president of the USFSA, decided not to suspend Harding's membership before a hearing took place. If she had been suspended, she likely still would have competed at the Olympics after filing suit, seeking an injunction against the USFSA, and asserting her rights under the Amateur Sports Act of 1978. The panel examined evidence including the testimonies of Stant and Smith, Harding and Gillooly's telephone records, and notes found in a Portland saloon trash bin on January 30. Harding was given 30 days to respond.
News media began attending Harding's Portland practices; also filming her on February 7, running barefoot to stop a tow truck from hauling her illegally parked vehicle. On February 10, Connie Chung interviewed Harding. When asked about Gillooly, Harding said: \"I never did anything to hurt [Jeff]. If I ever did anything, it was to stick up for him and protect him.\" Chung also negotiated to fly on the same airplane with Harding to Oslo, leaving on February 15. Chung admitted she would not have travelled to Norway were it not for the scandal.
Harding's plea conditions imposed her U.S. Figure Skating Association resignation, necessitating her withdrawal from the 1994 Worlds (for which she was scheduled to leave on March 17). District attorney Norman Frink said if Harding had not agreed to the plea, she would have faced \"an indictment on all possible charges...punishment was taking away [skating] privilege.\"
Harding began a relationship with 17-year-old Jeff Gillooly in September 1986 when she was 15. They moved into a home together in 1988 when he worked in distribution at the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. They married on March 18, 1990, when she was 19 and he was 22. In January 1992, Harding told Terry Richard of The Oregonian, \"Jeff always put food on the table and a roof over my head. He paid for my skating for a couple of years. If it hadn't been for him during that time, I wouldn't have been skating.\" They divorced on August 28, 1993. During the autumn of 1993, Gillooly was working part-time managing Harding's career and taking real estate classes. Harding and Gillooly had been continuing to see each other since early October 1993 and were sharing a rented chalet in Beavercreek, Oregon until January 18, 1994. 1e1e36bf2d