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  Harding's Latest Plot Twist Is a Car Chase

Robert Fachet
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 25, 1995; Page B2

No doubt, you've had enough of Tonya Harding, but please bear with us through one more episode. Harding followed a car for 20 miles Tuesday because she believed it was driven by a professional golfer she says has been stalking her. The figure skater called deputies after leaving her home in Milwaukie, Ore., and a patrol car joined the procession, which wound up in the parking lot of a food store.

The bizarre scene soon included television camera crews and Jeff Stone, Harding's former husband formerly known as Jeff Gillooly. He showed up with a female friend in a sport utility vehicle.

Harding filed a hit-and-run report weeks ago after someone's car hit her house, according to Damon Coates, spokesman for the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. Friday, she told deputies, she spotted the white Lincoln she suspected was responsible outside her house and attempted to follow it. About 8 p.m. Tuesday, she said, she saw the car drive past again. Harding and a boyfriend pursued in her 1995 green Corvette.

The Lincoln driver was identified as Dennis Brandenburg, a Tennessee resident who rented the car in Portland. He told police he was in town to chaperon a 21-year-old golfer named Derrick Distasi and was driving up and down the street searching for him.

Harding "says that some time ago ... a couple of pro golfers had either joined her fan club or wanted to meet her. ... They were really persistent," Coates said.

Investigators found damage to bricks at Harding's house and minor damage and red scrapings on the Lincoln.

© Copyright 1995 The Washington Post Company

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