Groping Lawsuit Against Schwarzenegger Can Go Forward

A judge rejected an attempt to block a lawsuit by a British journalist who claims she was groped by California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (search) four years ago and then libeled by his aides.

Judge David Eady agreed Wednesday with a court official's ruling that Anna Richardson (search) could serve proceedings on Schwarzenegger at the High Court in London. He dismissed an attempt by Schwarzenegger spokesman Sean Walsh to stop the case from going ahead on the grounds that English courts had no jurisdiction.

A date for the libel trial has not yet been set.

Richardson claims Schwarzenegger fondled her breast during an interview in London in 2000 and that his staff subsequently damaged her reputation as a professional interviewer by alleging she encouraged the behavior.

She alleges she was libeled by Schwarzenegger, Walsh and spokeswoman Sheryl Main in an October 2003 article in the Los Angeles Times that also appeared on the Internet.

Schwarzenegger's lawyers say Richardson is not giving a true account of events during the interview at the Dorchester Hotel.

The "Terminator" (search) star-turned-politician has been accused by more than a dozen women of groping or sexually harassing them since the 1970s.

When allegations emerged during his 2003 election campaign, he apologized for having "behaved badly sometimes" toward women and doing some things that "were not right, which I thought were playful."