Arnold Schwarzenegger addresses 2003 groping scandal: ‘Forget all the excuses, it was wrong’

Actor was accused of groping by six women in the lead-up to the 2003 California governor election

Tom Murray
Monday 05 June 2023 19:15 BST
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Arnold Schwarzenegger apologises for groping women in the past in Netflix’s forthcoming documentary series about the Terminator star.

The actor-turned-politician was accused of groping by six women in the lead-up to the 2003 California governor election, which Schwarzenegger went on to win.

At the time, Schwarzenegger said the accounts published in the Los Angeles Times were “made-up” while recognising that he sometimes “behaved badly” on film sets.

“My reaction in the beginning, I was kind of… defensive,” Schwarzenegger now says in Arnold, Netflix’s three-part docuseries, according to Rolling Stone.

“Today, I can look at it and kind of say, it doesn’t really matter what time it is. If it’s the Muscle Beach days of 40 years ago, or today, that this was wrong. It was bullshit. Forget all the excuses, it was wrong.”

Schwarzenegger, a Republican, won the governorship by 1 million votes despite the bombshell report.

“Personally, I was surprised that it didn’t have more of an effect on the election. I thought that more people would be offended themselves,” Los Angeles Times reporter Carla Hall says in the documentary.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Getty Images)

“When Schwarzenegger announced he was running for governor, the staff of the LA Times immediately went into high gear to start looking into stories that we had heard for years, but no one had actually investigated them fully,” she adds. “We had barely six weeks to work on this, and we started talking to women.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, Schwarzenegger, 75, opened up about the moment he admitted to ex-wife Maria Shriver that he had fathered a child with another woman.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver were married for more than two decades from 1985, before divorcing in 2021. However, he had an affair with Mildred Baena in 1996, which resulted in their son Joseph Baena, who is now 25.

Arnold comes out on 7 June on Netflix.

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