TV Presenter Sues Arnold Over Groping Claim Denial
faces an embarrassing libel
battle in the British courts over
an alleged sex attack.
The Hollywood tough guy
turned Californian governor could
have his colourful private life subjected to intense scrutiny and
faces potential legal costs in excess of $2.5 million.
He could also have to pay hefty
damages. British TV presenter
Anna Richardson, 32, is suing the
57-year-old Terminator star for
libel after he claimed she falsely
accused him of groping her in
order to damage his political ambitions. The case stems from an
incident in December 2000 when
she was interviewing him for an
ITV entertainment program in the
Dorchester hotel in London.
Miss Richardson claimed he
pulled her on to his knee and
asked if her breasts were real, then
circled her left nipple with his
finger before telling her: "Yes, they
At the time, a spokesman for Mr
Schwarzenegger's film The Sixth
Day laughed off the incident, saying: "Arnie is a big flirt- as is Anna.
Most presenters know how to
handle him and understand he's
The allegation resurfaced when
Mr Schwarzenegger was running
for office as governor of California
and came days after he admitted
taking a training course about
steering clear of sexual harassment claims.
His campaign was almost derailed by allegations that he had
groped and molested 16 women.
The claims ranged from grabbing a woman's breast in a gym
in 1975 to spanking a woman in
a Los Angeles sound studio 15
Miss Richardsons claim was rejected by Mr Schwarzenegger's
political campaign manager Sean
Walsh in an article published in
the Los Angeles Times in October
2003. Mr Walsh claimed she had
fabricated the allegation to hurt
Mr Schwarzenegger's campaign.
The article was also published
on the internet. Miss Richardson,
who had been working for the
LWT show Big Screen, was furious
and filed a libel suit against Mr
Schwarzenegger, Mr Walsh and
the actor's publicist Sheryl Main
at the High Court in London.
Miss Richardson, a vicar's
daughter, claims she has been
libelled and that her reputation as
a professional interviewer has
If Mr Scbwarzenegger, loses he
could be ordered to pay damages
to Miss Richardson running into
hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Legal experts say no trial is
likely before the end of the year
- if the matter is not settled out
of court first. Legal battles have
seen Mr Walsh repeatedly try, and
fail, to block the action.
Adelaide Avdertiser (22-1-2005)