- In a recent interview with Men’s Health, Arnold Schwarzenegger says he “stepped over the line several times” with women in the past.
- He may have been referring to when six women came forward to accuse the “Terminator” star of groping and humiliating them in 2003.
- At the time, Schwarzenegger denied the allegations and said they were part of a political smear.
- “I was the first one to say sorry. I feel bad about it, and I apologise,” Schwarzenegger said.
- The actor said he has not changed his views on masculinity.
In a recent interview with Men’s Health, Arnold Schwarzenegger says he “stepped over the line several times” with women in the past.
He may have been referring to when six women came forward to accuse the “Terminator” star of groping and humiliating them in 2003. At the time, Schwarzenegger denied the allegations and said they were part of a political smear, as he was running for office at the time that the allegations were made public.
But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, Schwarzenegger says he has reevaluated his behaviour toward women. The floodgates for the movement and cultural moment were opened in 2017 when women came forward to accuse Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct. Since then, more than 50 women have come forward with allegations against Weinstein. Women have also come out with allegations against some of the most powerful figures in other industries, including media and politics.
“Looking back, I stepped over the line several times, and I was the first one to say sorry,” Schwarzenegger said. “I feel bad about it, and I apologise.”
He continued: “When I became governor, I wanted to make sure that no one, including me, ever makes this mistake. That’s why we took sexual harassment courses, to have a clear understanding, from a legal point of view and also from a regular-behaviour point of view, of what is accepted and what is not.”
Schwarzenegger was the governor of California until 2011. He was not criminally charged in connection to any of the allegations against him.
Shortly after Schwarzenegger left office, he confirmed in a family counseling session that he cheated on his wife Maria Shriver and had a son, now 21, with the family’s housekeeper, Mildred Baena. Shriver filed for divorce, although TMZ reports that they are still technically married. “You do think about it every so often, and I can beat myself up as much as I want – it’s not gonna change the situation,” he told Men’s Journal of the affair in 2017. “So the key thing is, how do you move forward? How do you have a great relationship with your kids?”
Although he says he’s since re-evaluated the ways he treated women in the past, Schwarzenegger also insists he hasn’t changed the way he views masculinity.”I’m a guy,” he told Men’s Health. “I would not change my view of who I am.”
Specifically, he doesn’t regret calling his political opponents “girlie men” in a 2004 political appearance.
“At the time it felt like the right thing to do. It was in my gut,” he told Men’s Health of his word choice. “I improvised it. I called them girlie men because they weren’t willing to take risks. They were afraid of everything. Politicians, in general, want to do little things so there’s no risk involved. But it was shortsighted. In the long term, it’s better to not say that, because you want to work with them.”
In the last 15 years, the actor said he’s ultimately come to the conclusion that he respects women. “The woman I was originally most in love with was my mother,” he explained. “I respected her, and she was a fantastic woman. I always had respect for women.”
You can read the full interview with Schwarzenegger in Men’s Health.
If you are a victim of sexual assault, you can visit RAINN or call its hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to receive confidential support from a trained staff member.
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