The fifth paragraph in this story from SFGate.com article about the libel case brought against Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger by British TV talker Anna Richardson, right, caught my attention:
Unless the governor wins a late judicial reprieve or reaches an out-of-court settlement, he may find himself spending part of the 2006 election year — his re-election year should he choose to seek another term — in a witness box, answering questions under oath before 12 British jurors and a bewigged judge.
The article says that the Gubernator and his staff have tried everything in their power to quash the suit, however an expert on the British legal system, who also knows the Governor, says it now comes down to a choice for Schwarzenegger: “He’s going to have to fight this here or he’s going to have to capitulate. My expectation would be that he would come and fight it.”
Richardson was one of six women who came forward in an LA Times article published a week or so prior to the Recall election to reveal that they were sexually assaulted by Schwarzenegger. Reaction to the article in the MSM and rightwing radio was hard and swift – the article was painted as spurious agitprop from the liberals at the Times. (I know people who voted for Schwarzenegger because they “were convinced” the article was unfair, even if the allegations were true.)
The Richardson incident has proven to be the most durable allegation in the article. It happened in December 2000, when Schwarzenegger was in London to promote his film, “The 6th Day.”
According to her account, Schwarzenegger, who had behaved as a “perfect gentleman” in her previous interviews with him about his films, kept staring at her breasts during the 2000 interview at the Dorchester Hotel.
“I went to shake his hand and he grabbed me onto his knee and he said, ‘Before you go, I want to know if your breasts are real,’ ” Richardson told the Times. She said they were real and looked around for help, and “at that point, he circled my left nipple with his finger and he said, ‘Yes, they are real.’ ” Then, she said, he let her go.
When asked for a response to the charges during the Recall campaign, Arnold’s spokesman, Sean Walsh, referred reporters to a studio flack named Sheryl Main – you gotta love that! – who told a completely different story.
According to Main’s account, as quoted in the Times, Richardson stood up after the interview, cupped her right breast and said, “What do you think of these?” She then sat on his lap and was immediately escorted out.
Richardson’s suit does not focus on the groping incident but rather on the reporting of it. She’s suing the two flacks over their comments to the Times.
The response from Schwarzenegger’s lawyer is classic: “Arnold Schwarzenegger did not make any of the statements that were attributed to his aides. He didn’t ratify or authorize the statements.”
Right. Well, then. That settles it. Flacks in the employ of the movie star and his studio were just popping off, making wild, untrue and libelous statements without his knowledge. Happens every day, I’m sure.
But not in this town…