Arnold Sued for Alleged Defamation
A woman who accused California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of groping her on a movie set is now suing him and his campaign staff, claiming they smeared her as a convicted felon when she went public with her allegations during his bitterly fought gubernatorial campaign, reports Reuters.
At an Oct. 6 press conference, a day before the election, Rhonda Miller accused Schwarzenegger of pulling up her shirt and taking a photo of her breasts during production of "Terminator 2," in which she worked as a stand-in. She was among a number of women who made similar claims about the action star during the campaign.
Less than an hour later, reports Reuters, Schwarzenegger's campaign staff sent out a memorandum that spotlighted a lengthy criminal record of a woman named Rhonda Miller on the Los Angeles Superior Court Web site, according to Miller's libel lawsuit.
In a statement allegedly issued Oct. 6, Schwarzenegger called Miller's accusation "not factually correct" but apologized for making "crude comments" and occasionally engaging in "rowdy behavior."
Miller's lawsuit, filed Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court, accused the Republican governor and his staff of "a calculated act of character assassination" and contends they knew that Miller was not the same woman identified in the court filings as having felony convictions for prostitution and fraud, among other crimes.
Moreover, the suit states, Miller has never been charged with or convicted of any crime and was caused "enormous financial and emotional damage" by the misrepresentations.
Schwarzenegger's office directed questions to his Los Angeles-based attorney, Martin Singer, who could not immediately be reached for comment, says Reuters.
In related news, Schwarzenegger has dropped a plan to conduct his own investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct against him, a spokesman says.
"Upon consulting with legal counsel and advisers, the governor has concluded that given the political nature of the allegations, an investigation would only be ridiculed by his political opponents and provide little opportunity to put this issue to rest," said Rob Stutzman.
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