Will a Magazine Article Terminate Arnold's Career?
This cannot be a happy Valentine's Day for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, who've been married 16 years. The parents of four daughters are the subjects of a story in the new issue of Premiere magazine called "Arnold the Barbarian," written by investigative reporter John Connolly.
Connolly lifts the veil off the Schwarzenegger mystique, carefully revealing some of the rumors that have swirled around the action star for years. Some of the stories are sordid and scandalous — but Premiere's lawyers took a thorough look at the piece. Indeed, it's been reported that Martin Singer, Schwarzenegger's attorney, has decided not to sue over these matters.
But what matters they are: They concern Arnold's health, marriage, and his behavior toward women. The women, especially, came forward to Connolly with stories that are mind-blowing and, I would think, potentially permanently damaging to Arnold's billion-dollar career.
In one episode, a female producer's husband visits the set. When he leaves, the star demands of the woman: "Is this why you didn't come up to my hotel room last night and ---- my ----." [Readers of this column will appreciate the deleted expletives.]
In another instance, a woman visiting the set of Eraser in 1996 comes upon Arnold in his trailer giving oral sex to a woman. He looked up and said what could become a line more memorable than "Hasta la vista, baby: Eating is not cheating." When the observer ran into him sometime later and repeated the line to him, she said Schwarzenegger laughed.
Connolly also cites a journalist who spent time with Schwarzenegger and his co-star Rachel Ticotin during the shooting of Total Recall. Ticotin, who was then married to NYPD Blue star David Caruso, was seen one night "making out" with Schwarzenegger.
A lawyer who frequents the same Hollywood bistro as Schwarzenegger, Café Roma, told Connolly: "The guy is a real pig. He will say the most disgusting, sexual things to a woman he doesn't know." Makes you wonder what he'd say to a woman he did know!
The pig reference is apt. George Butler, who directed Arnold in his breakthrough film Pumping Iron, told Connolly that Arnold's health is precarious. In 1997, Schwarzenegger revealed that he had elective heart surgery in which a valve was replaced.
Butler clarifies what really happened: "Doctors removed his heart from his body and replaced one of the heart valves with a pig valve. During his recovery, he was rushed back to the operating room, where doctors implanted two more pig valves."
Connolly confers with several doctors who speculate that Schwarzenegger's condition may be the result of his using anabolic steroids when he was a weightlifter. Butler points out that in a scene from Pumping Iron, Schwarzenegger — who used to be on the President's Council for Fitness under the elder George Bush — celebrates a weightlifting win by smoking a large joint.
How did this exposé make it to print? One thing's for sure: For years Arnold employed the kind of high-powered publicists who had enough clout and leverage to pull all of their clients from a magazine that dared take him on.
But more recently Schwarzenegger chose a smaller outfit, just as talented, but without the potential to strike fear in the heart of editors. And so at last we have these horrific tales.
There are still tickets available for tonight's seminar on children at Carnegie Hall, hosted by Michael Jackson. Other child-rearing experts scheduled to appear include Chuck (Love Connection) Woolery.
I am told that Epic Records is hurrying a reissue of Jackson's History, Pt. 1 album for February 27, but with a twist. Instead of a two-record set, Epic will sell only the greatest hits CD, so this History will be revised and cheaper. It's also another part of the brilliant effort to bring back Michael's career by sending his best songs back into the stores before his new album is released.