From hero to predator: how the fall of Arnold Schwarzenegger was predicted by one man

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

The former governor may soon find more claims about alleged infidelities resurfacing

The anchormen called it a bolt from the blue, Tuesday's news that Arnold Schwarzenegger had fathered a child during an affair with his housekeeper. Some dubbed him The Sperminator; others The Marriage Terminator; everyone professed astonishment that California's perma-tanned Last Action Hero could turn out to be such a copper-topped villain.

Or nearly everyone. For while a gob-smacked mainstream media was coming to terms with the implosion of one of Hollywood's foremost power couples, a scandal-mongering celebrity biographer called Ian Halperin was celebrating a remarkable journalistic coup.

Seven months ago, while publicising an unauthorised biography of Schwarzenegger, Halperin predicted that California's then governor would separate from his wife Maria Shriver within the next 12 months. "Believe me," he told a radio host, "over the years, Arnold has done things that make Tiger Woods look like the Virgin Mary."

Halperin's book The Governator portrayed its subject as a serial sexual predator and alleged that during his 24-year marriage, Schwarzenegger had embarked on extra-marital liaisons with, among others, Total Recall co-star Rachel Ticotin and former child actress Gigi Goyette.

Yet although Halperin interviewed 700 people while researching the book, and boasts a track record for unearthing celebrity scandal that has earned him the nickname "Hollywood's Nostradamus", its publication met with silence from major news organisations.

"I'm a New York Times bestselling author," he told The Independent yesterday. "Normally, when my books come out, I get invited on all the major TV networks. This time, no one wanted me, except a couple of small radio stations. It was incredible: I'd turned up amazing stuff, but Schwarzenegger seemed to have shut me down. There was total news blackout."

Halperin adds that in his original manuscript, he detailed Arnie's affair with Mildred "Patty" Baena, the housekeeper said to have given birth to his illegitimate son roughly 10 years ago. But the entire passage revealing their relationship was expunged by his publisher, Rupert Murdoch's HarperCollins.

"It seems funny now," he said. "I actually identified Baena in the original manuscript, and went into detail about their affair and her child. But the lawyers struck it out. They were worried about a libel suit."

Yesterday, as rumours emerged that Schwarzenegger was the father of at least one other illegitimate child, Halperin predicted that we "have not even seen the tip of the iceberg". Further juicy revelations are likely to emerge when Shriver's lawyer files her divorce papers, he said.

"I know of numerous other women who say they had children with Schwarzenegger. I didn't write about their claims, because I was unable to corroborate them. I still don't know if they're true. But these women will start to appear from the woodwork."

To Halperin, the US media's failure to hold Schwarzenegger, 63, to account fits into a troubling pattern. While Fleet Street frets over the apparent ruthlessness of muck-raking tabloid hacks, their American counterparts suffer from the opposite problem.

Recent years have seen John Edwards come within weeks of mounting a serious challenge for the White House, despite the fact that he had been cheating on his cancer-ridden wife. Although his illegitimate daughter was photographed by the National Enquirer, major newspapers for months chose to ignore the story.

Last year brought the revelation that the serial infidelity of Tiger Woods had been suppressed by executives at publishers American Media, who agreed in 2007 to spike a tabloid report about his love life in return for an "exclusive" interview about his workout regime for their glossy title Men's Fitness.

Schwarzenegger's foibles have long been rumoured in the entertainment community. When he announced his intention to stand for Governor of California in 2003, his campaign was almost derailed by a string of women who claimed that he had groped or made inappropriate sexual advances towards them. At the time, journalist Wendy Leigh alleged in Britain's Daily Mail that a former flight attendant called Tammy Tousignant had given birth to his illegitimate son, Tanner, in the 1990s.

No US news organisation followed up the allegation. And while Tousignant yesterday denied that the boy (whose name is shared with Schwarzenegger's character in Total Recall) was the ex-governor's son, her lawyer said that a paternity test had been carried out.

Halperin, among others, now believes troubling questions must be asked about who really controls the US media. Shriver, he notes, is a scion of the Kennedy dynasty, which recently managed to have an unflattering TV drama about the family, starring Katie Holmes, dropped by The History Channel.

"It's a matter of justice," said Halperin. "America deserves to have a free press which isn't controlled from behind the scenes. I feel bad for the taxpayers of California. They are only now learning how this man behaved, on their dime. And who knows how many other cheating politicians are still out there?"

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Experienced Bookkeeper - German Speaking - Part Time

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This firm of accountants based ...

Recruitment Genius: Operations Manager

£30000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They are a financial services c...

Ashdown Group: Field Service Engineer

£30000 - £32000 per annum + car allowance and on call: Ashdown Group: A succes...

Recruitment Genius: Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

£15000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Well established small company ...

Day In a Page

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk
Nepal earthquake: One man's desperate escape from Everest base camp after the disaster

Escape from Everest base camp

Nick Talbot was sitting in his tent when the tsunami of snow and rock hit. He was lucky to live, unlike his climbing partner just feet away...
Adopting high fibre diet could dramatically cut risk of bowel cancer, says study

What happened when 20 Americans swapped diets with 20 Africans?

Innovative study in the US produces remarkable results
Blake Lively and 'The Age of Adaline': Gossip Girl comes
of age

Gossip girl comes of age

Blake Lively is best known for playing an affluent teenager. Her role as a woman who is trapped forever at 29 is a greater challenge
Goat cuisine: Kid meat is coming to Ocado

Goat cuisine

It's loved by chefs, ethical, low in fat and delicious. So, will kid meat give lamb a run for its money?
14 best coat hooks

Hang on: 14 best coat hooks

Set the tone for the rest of your house with a stylish and functional coat rack in the hallway
Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?