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Nancy Kerrigan Opens Up About Dad's Death

Former Olympic figure skater Nancy Kerrigan's family is rejecting a medical examiner's report calling her father's death a homicide.

The coroner's findings back up charges that Nancy Kerrigan's brother Mark was responsible for Daniel Kerrigan's fatal heart attack last month.

Now, Nancy Kerrigan is talking publicly about the case for the first time in an exclusive interview with Samantha Harris of "The Insider."

Kerrigans Rally to Mark's Defense
Photos: Nancy Kerrigan

In the interview, Nancy Kerrigan says it's "scary" to live without her father.

However, she says, "I'm lucky, blessed (to have) the lessons that he taught us, how to stand strong, and how to move on and how to be able to still laugh."

Kerrigan opened up about family's loss, telling Harris, "He won't be there to see (his grandchildren) grow up, (see) all that they'll accomplish."

As for her brother, Kerrigan didn't speak about him in "The Insider" clips released on "The Early Show" broadcast.

But legal analyst Jack Ford had much to say about Mark Kerrigan's situation, saying Nancy Kerrigan's brother is likely to face manslaughter charges. The charges, Ford said, refer to reckless behavior without regard that someone might die from one's actions.

Ford also indicated that Kerrigan's celebrity may hurt rather than help in this case.

He said, "If this is Nancy Smith, and this situation plays out with her family, and no one knows who she is, and you go in and talk with her attorney for the prosecutor, it might be easier to get a prosecutor to say, 'This is such a big story now.' If I'm a prosecutor, I don't want someone looking over my shoulder saying 'This deal came because it's Nancy Kerrigan, an Olympic hero. If I came in as a lawyer with Nancy Smith, I wouldn't get that same deal.' So I would be very cautious."

Ford said Mark Kerrigan, who has been in prison before and has a history of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), could have a couple of defenses.

Ford said the family could claim a medical defense, saying that Daniel Kerrigan had heart disease.

"(They'll say) he could have had a heart attack at the Super Bowl and died," Ford said. "The prosecutor will say, 'He didn't, he had a heart attack when his son's hands were around his throat."

But, if the PTSD becomes the focus of the case, the defense could present what Ford called "a full blown insanity defense," claiming that Mark Kerrigan didn't know what he was doing. Ford said that defense is likely to be used as a mitigating factor for a plea bargain or sentencing.

To watch Kerrigan's entire interview, watch "The Insider" Friday night. Check your local listings.

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