Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted he “stepped over the line several times” with women in the past and regretted calling his political opponents “girlie men.”
In an interview with Men's Health published Wednesday, “The Terminator” actor addressed the #MeToo movement and said he apologized for his behavior toward women in the past.
“Looking back, I stepped over the line several times, and I was the first one to say sorry. I feel bad about it, and I apologize,” Schwarzenegger said. “When I became governor, I wanted to make sure that no one, including me, ever makes this mistake.”
In 2003, Schwarzenegger was running for governor of California when he was accused of groping women without their consent. The alleged incidents spanned for three decades on movie sets and studio offices, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time.
"Did he rape me? No," a woman said about a 1980 encounter in which Schwarzenegger allegedly touched her breast. "Did he humiliate me? You bet he did."
Schwarzenegger said once he was elected governor, he and his staff took sexual harassment prevention courses.
“That’s why we took sexual harassment courses, to have a clear understanding, from a legal point of view and also from a regular-behavior point of view, of what is accepted and what is not,” Schwarzenegger said.
The former California governor added though that his views on masculinity have not changed, saying he’s “always had respect for women.”
Another regret Schwarzenegger has is calling his political opponents “girlie men.”
“At the time it felt like the right thing to do. It was in my gut. I improvised it,” he said.
“I called them girlie men because they weren’t willing to take risks,” he continued. “They were afraid of everything. Politicians, in general, want to do little things so there’s no risk involved. But it was shortsighted. In the long term, it’s better to not say that, because you want to work with them.”