Yesterday Arnold Schwarzenegger was forced to respond to statements he made back in 1977 during an interview with the defunct Playboy publication OUI. In the interview he talks about his sex life, women, and drug use. We talk to the OUI interviewer and a rape survivor in California who said Maria Shriver told her if she were ever raped, her husband (Schwarzenegger) would leave her, considering her "damaged goods." [Includes Transcript]
There’s more information coming out on the leading Republican candidate in the California Recall race for governor.
We have reported on Schwarzenegger’s position on the board of US English Inc, and its link to hate groups as outlined by the Southern Poverty Law Center . ( see DN 8/26 links have compelled several board members to resign, but Arnold has remained on the board to this day.
Schwarzenegger began his career as a body builder. In 1977 he was interviewed by the now defunct Playboy publication OUI.
While Schwarzenegger defends himself by saying he did not lead his life as a politician, the Oui interviewer Peter Manso says he was talking about a career in politics even then. And he was talking about alot more. In the interview, Schwarzenegger said,
"Bodybuilders party a lot, and once, in Gold’s—the gym in Venice, California, where all the top guys train—there was a black girl who came out naked. Everybody jumped on her and took her upstairs, where we all got together."
Asked if he was talking about a "gang bang," Schwarzenegger answered,
"Yes, but not everybody, just the guys who can f—- in front of other guys. Not everybody can do that. Some think that they don’t have a big-enough [ ], so they can’t get a hard-on. Having chicks around is the kind of thing that breaks up the intense training. It gives you relief, and then afterward you go back to the serious stuff."
- Peter Manso, author of ’Ptown-Art, Sex and Money on th Outer Cape, author of Mailer: His Life and Times, and the author of ’Brando, The Biography. He was also the author of the now infamous 1977 Oui magazine interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
- Karen Pomer, rape survivor and a leading advocate for rape survivors in California. She was profiled by Maria Shriver for NBC’s Dateline.
AMY GOODMAN:We’re joined by the man who did the piece for Oui magazine, Peter Manso, author of a biography of Norman Mailer as well as Karen Pomer who is the founder of Rainbow Sisters, who has taken on the issue of sexual harassment and rape and been one of the leaders of rape survivors and have taken on the police in Southern California to ensure that women who come forward are not harassed by police. We are going to start with Peter Manso, can you talk about this piece in Oui magazine that is still on auction on Ebay as we speak?
PETER MANSO: Good morning. I think it’s marvelous, because the magazine last time I checked earlier this morning latest bid was $760. Which is more than half of what I got paid for doing the interview back when.
AMY GOODMAN: One of the things Arnold Schwarzenegger said yesterday, not exactly a denial but doesn’t remember doing this interview.How can you prove that you actually did this?
PETER MANSO: Well, I would have to go into my files ,my storage bin and dig up the tapes.I save all of these interviews, they’re done on tapes. For example when I did my last biography which wasn’t Mailer but Marlon Brando I wound up with 75,000 pages of interview transcripts. One keeps these things.
JUAN GONZALEZ: What about Schwarzenegger’s statements yesterday and past few days that in his private life he wasn’t planning to be a politican, and shouldn’t be brought in to his current run for governor?
PETER MANSO: Let me say very directly that I have no problem with Arnold’s behavior, I’ll qualify that in a moment. I do have some problem with it. But I would point to the hypocrisy thing. Arnold says what I do in my private life is my private life. What I do as potential governor is something else.
What I’d like Arnold and his people, what I’m talking about the California money that is so evidently behind Arnold, to step forward and grant a Bill Clinton the same latitude. This is a peculiar double standard at work which I find very worrisome.
AMY GOODMAN: And this issue of him talking about, he didn’t lead his life as a politician.
PETER MANSO: That, too, raises questions. Because As I’ve said in some other interviews, it was real clear to me, it was in effect quite impressive because Arnold seemed to have his act pretty much together.
When I interviewed him way back when he was laying out a kind of typical immigrant, America is the land of opportunity story which to say at age 29 he figured out the rest of his life. He was going to be a movie star and once that fizzled he was anticipating a career in business or as he put it, possibly even politics. But there’s another factor here I’d like to get this in.
I know that on very good account that six, seven, eight years ago, Arnold bought up for the sum of $1 million the rights of film "pumping iron" and all the outtakes for that film- the cinema verite film- These guys constantly had the camera running in Golds gym. I’m told that the outtakes of the film really chronicle the very orgies that Arnold talks about in the interview.
Now, why would Arnold, rich as he is, peel off a million bucks to buy up the rights a half dozen years ago if he wasn’t anticipating a political run sooner or later. I’ll leave the answer to that question to your audience.
JUAN GONZALEZ: We’re also joined on the telephone by Karen Pomer, and the premiere magazine article of March 2001, details a series of what can only be called sexual assaults on women by Schwarzenegger including several that involve women that were interviewing him. Journalists, entertainment journalists of one kind or the other who in the middle of interviews were fondled or mishandled, groped by Schwarzenegger.I’d like to get your perspective as a a victim of rape and rape survivor and spokesperson for rape victims, your sense of , your knowledge of Schwarzenegger’s activities.
KAREN POMER: Well, yeah, I carefully read this article in the March 2001 "Premiere" magazine which I mean this is very recent. This is what Mr. Manso laid out in his article back in 1977 seems to be a continued pattern.
This is not just ancient history. According to the story that he grabbed the breast of three different talk show hosts while he was in London at the end of–around Christmas, 2000. These kind of things continued and continued.
When he worked on "Terminator 2" there’s a story in this article about a crew member who was wearing a silk blouse and he went and grabbed her breast and pulled it out in public. This woman was devastated and Arnold and his clones were laughing and the woman who ran to shelter in a nearby trailer she was hysterical, but refused to press charges because she didn’t want to lose her job. People said it was disgusting what happened. I mean, if you live in Los Angeles and work in the Hollywood industry, these stories abound.
My sister attended a conference a couple of years ago and one of the speakers at the conference, it was a conference on women and film and the obstacles that you face. One of the women who spoke who works in production and film and who is now fairly high up in this movie studio system recounted a story of a star of a film throwing her up against a bathroom wall when she rebuffed him. And she said, well, when people asked who it was she said, well I guess it’s common knowledge that it was Arnold Schwarzenegger.
So it’s not just- we’re not talking about somebody who is an adulterer. Were not just talking about someone with infidelities. We’re talking about sexual harassment. That’s sexual battery when you throw someone up against a wall.
My own personal connection to this is when I was interviewed for Dateline NBC, an hour-long special and the anchor who interviewed me, and I spoke about this briefly on a previous show on Democracy Now!, but at the time I didn’t reveal who it was. But I was told by Maria Shriver of "Dateline NBC" after the interview she told me if I had been raped, my husband would leave me because after all I would be damaged goods. And I have to say, I was pretty shocked when she said that. Because she said it so matter of factly that it really stunned me and stunned the entire crew that was there in the room. We were stunned into silence.
AMY GOODMAN: Of course you’re talking about Maria Shriver, the wife of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
KAREN POMER: Correct.
PETER MANSO: What I find so appalling about the story you just told is that Maria Shriver apparently shares Arnold’s values. Because what I experienced with Arnold is that he’s chemically incapable of being in the presence of a woman without flirting, without sexual innuendo, without some kind of sexual play. And throughout the interview he did with me… I have no knowledge other than what I’ve read of Arnold’s abuse of women.
The attitude that runs throughout is to put it bluntly, women are hunks of meat, no more, no less. That Maria Shriver should basically subscribe to the same world view is appalling.
AMY GOODMAN: I don’t know what we can say about Maria Shriver what her world view is.
PETER MANSO: I base that merely on the previous anecdote that, quote, a woman would be a piece of, quote, damaged goods. I don’t believe in referring to women as damaged or undamaged goods.
KAREN POMER: I was reading another story by Wendy Leigh called "The Groping Governor" that appeared last week in the London papers. I thought that this kind of captured Maria Shriver for me. I spent many hours with her being interviewed over a period of several months.
AMY GOODMAN: Let me just clarify, Karen, for people who might be a little confused. That you, as you said were the subject of an hour-long "Dateline" piece. "Dateline" NBC piece as a rape survivor and Maria Shriver was the reporter who did the piece on you.
KAREN POMER: Well, the last line in this piece called "The Groping Governor" born and bred to endure infidelity of a powerful husband, Maria will no doubt take solace in his wealth and prestige and carry on being a classic Kennedy wife all the way to the governor’s mansion.
I think that that , you know, I don’t know her that well but I did spend hours with her. This is the impression of her that I got: that she was somehow complicit in this and just kind of going along with the program. I think that is the life that she has known.
AMY GOODMAN: We’ve seen the people that Arnold Schwarzenegger has put forward as his main advisors, you have Warren Buffet, former Secretary of State under Reagan, George Schultz, Pete Wilson the former California governor is his main spokesperson. Are there women who are there?
KAREN POMER: Well, I haven’t heard about any. In fact Arianna Huffington who is also running made a comment about that is that we don’t see a single woman around him advising him or a member of that board. Other than his wife Maria Shriver, I don’t know of any who have endorsed him or supported him.
JUAN GONZALEZ: Karen, what about those who say that this is basically Schwarzenegger’s private life, if charges haven’t been lodged in any courtroom about his activities that this is basically his personal life and activities and there are lots of politicians who have been womanizers for certain, in president Clinton’s case even charges of abusing women at one time or another. What does this have to do with him running for governor?
KAREN POMER: I think there is clearly a pattern here. I think that at the very least, people who are voting in California should have access to this information that Schwarzenegger has gone to great lengths to cover up.
AMY GOODMAN: How often has he been asked about this by reporters over recent years, Karen, do they make agreements not to?
KAREN POMER: Yes. At the Cannes Film Festival reporters were asked, according to Wendy Leigh who spoke about this…
AMY GOODMAN: The unofficial biographer of Arnold Schwarzenegger.
KAREN POMER: Correct. That reporters were asked to sign agreements before they interviewed him that they would not ask him about any of these things. They have gone to great lengths to suppress this information. I think when you’re talking about sexual harassment I think that is illegal. I understand why people haven’t pressed charges, they would be really destroying their own careers by doing that. But I believe that some of these women will start to come forward in the coming weeks and we’ll hear the stories firsthand from them.
PETER MANSO: Can I inject something here. I think there’s even a prior issue. That is Arnold has on the one hand carefully crafted his image as that of a family man standing for family values. He’s done this on any number of occasions.
It’s no secret that Arnold is supported by, surrounded by people who have pretty far right wing, almost moral majority values. I think what the electorate in California has to ask itself is, you know, will the real Arnold please stand up. On the one hand the guy seems to enjoy a private life governed by laws only of his own making, which are primitive in the extreme. On the other hand he has been projecting and running on a campaign of, forgive me, family values BS. There’s a major disconnect here I think the electorate has to ask itself really what is going on.
AMY GOODMAN: And the final question about whether the California governor recall race is really just about California, whether it was hatched in California or whether it’s about who, a Republican or Democrat, will control California when it comes to the 2004 presidential race.
PETER MANSO: I think clearly this thing was planned some time ago. There is major, you know Pepperdine University, Richard Mellon Scaife foundation, the Heritage Foundation, et al., money behind this thing and its ultimate goal is to deliver California to Bush the next time around.
KAREN POMER: I believe Arnold Schwarzenegger is a stealth candidate that he is a Trojan horse and that he will say what he needs to say to get elected and then once he gets in there, do whatever he feels like doing to people. Remember that Bush also ran as a fairly moderate republican, I’m talking about George W.
AMY GOODMAN: I want to thank you both for being with us. We did call the Schwarzenegger campaign and asked them to join us and they did not get back to us. But the invitation still stands.
Karen Pomer, founder of Rainbow Sisters and rape survivor in California, Los Angeles, as well as Peter Manso who did the interview in "Oui" magazine, which continues to be auctioned off on Ebay as we speak. [He did the] interview with Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1977. He is also author of the best selling book…you can tell us the title yourself.
PETER MANSO: Ptown: Sex, Art and Money on the Outer Cape.
AMY GOODMAN: Thank you both for being with us.