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Wednesday, March 2, 1994 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Kerrigan's Latest Foe: Her Image -- Mickey Mouse Quip Puts Advisers In A Spin

AP

BOSTON - Days after losing out on a gold medal, figure skater Nancy Kerrigan is trying not to lose her golden image after television microphones picked up some less-than-shining moments.

Her seemingly mean-spirited remarks - plus her criticism of figure skating judges, her boasts that her own performance was flawless and her absence at the Olympic closing ceremonies - threatened to sully the silver medalist's Snow White image.

The first episode occurred as Kerrigan waited Friday for the award ceremony. Thinking everyone was waiting for gold medalist Oksana Baiul to fix her makeup, Kerrigan was caught on camera saying, "Oh, come on. So she's going to get out here and cry again. What's the difference?" (The real reason for the delay: Officials were searching for a copy of the Ukrainian national anthem.)

And while she sat next to Mickey Mouse at a Disney World parade Sunday, she was recorded saying "This is so corny. This is so dumb. I hate it. This is the most corny thing I've ever done."

Those remarks threatened to sully her Snow White image, but a Kerrigan spokesman now is trying some damage control.

Dewey Blanton of ProServ, which represents Kerrigan, issued a statement last night saying Kerrigan was disappointed at the "negative reaction and misinterpretation some of her recent comments had received."

Of the remark about Baiul, Kerrigan said: "I was afraid the crowd was losing its enthusiasm and was starting to leave. It was not meant as a slight toward Oksana."

Of the "corny" comment, she said: "I was not saying that the parade was corny or dumb. I enjoyed it tremendously . . .What I was commenting on to my mother was her insistence that I wear my medal during the parade. Since I was a little girl, I was told not to brag. I was afraid that it might look like bragging, and I'm not comfortable with that."

Copyright (c) 1994 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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