Anna Richardson, who interviewed Schwarzenegger in 2000, claimed in a lawsuit that he touched her breast, made lewd comments to her and then later, as a candidate for governor in 2003, he and members of his campaign staff told reporters that she was the instigator of the incident. (They couldn't reasonably deny the incident took place, as there were several witnesses! Suffice it to say that Schwarzenegger's wife was not amused.)
Although the financial details of the settlement are uncertain, what *IS* certain is that the governor paid out bigtime in order to settle the case before the inevitable publicity of court proceedings, which were scheduled to take place in the next few months. Reportedly, lawyers for Schwarzenegger had fought a delaying action, trying to keep the case out of court for as long as possible.
Unfortunately for Schwarzenegger, in Britain, it's the *defendant's* job to prove what they said was true in libel cases, which would be hard, considering that there were several British witnesses to the sexual assault. Is it any wonder he settled?
Suffice it to say, at $206,500 a year for the California governor's salary, all of the money Schwarzenegger has made during his term in office is gone... and then some. Your California tax dollars at work!
Graham Atkins, Richardson's attorney in London and arguably the best libel lawyer in Britain, said in a telephone interview that the terms of the settlement were private:
"Can't say anything actually. It's all confidential. But everyone seems to be pleased."
Especially Mr. Atkins, I presume. Expect to see the Schwarzenegger libel case on his resume in another few months, along with all the other successfully resolved cases whose settlements he can't discuss... but hey, everyone's happy!
As for Schwarzenegger, expect him to make another movie sometime soon to make up for his "budget deficit"... Predator Returns, perhaps?!
There's always Rio...