Is there any other gossip? It's all Arnold Schwarzenegger, all the time. First, Arnold's people denied the actor had engaged in "improper conduct toward women either on the set or off" (see below) and then this morning Arnold admitted that "wherever there is smoke, there is fire" and that "What I want to say to you is that, yes, I have behaved badly sometimes. Yes it is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right that I thought were playful." He then vowed to be "a champion of women" if he is elected governor of California. If you read the accounts of "rowdy" behavior you'll see Ol' Arn gives the word "playful" a whole new meaning. (CNN)
Meanwhile, Jamie Lee Curtis, Arnie's co-star in the 1994 movie "True Lies," is all over the talk shows promoting "Freaky Friday" and when asked about Arnold she says that she's not for the recall, but if it goes through she thinks Arnold will make a good governor and that she loves Maria Shriver to death. Maybe she should go into politics, too.
And one of the reasons there isn't more Arnold gossip in the tabloids is suggested in a recent L.A. Times column pulling together reports from other news sources that the owners of American Media (which runs the Enquirer, the Star, the Globe and the News of the World) have essentially taken a pass on Schwarzenegger raunch reporting because they also recently bought a vast array of bodybuilding mags and don't want to anger Arnold. The guy has muscle, all right. (L.A. Times)
As the dean of the graduate school of journalism at Berkeley, Orville Schell, said about the Arnold phenomenon in a recent understatement, "It's one more nail in the coffin that divides entertainment from news. We are heading off to some entirely uncharted waters here as far as politics and entertainment." (S.F. Gate)
I guess there's only one person as big as Arnie, and that's Martha Stewart, the gal people either love or hate. One of the lovers, John Small, has started a "Save Martha" campaign to raise money for a billboard in Times Square that will say, "If the stock sale was legit, you must acquit" -- in time for her Jan. 12 trial for insider trading. When asked why he was going to such trouble for Martha, Small answered, "Martha Stewart represents all that is good about democracy and America. A woman of humble beginnings became the first self-made billionaire in America's history ... by helping others improve their daily lives." He added, less romantically, that he had registered SaveRosie.com and SaveOprah.com -- just in case. (I Want Media)
Remember when people cared about Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez? Well, they are still in the news, albeit further down on the hit list. Today's stupid item is about Sharon Osbourne making a plea on her TV show to Ben to buy J.Lo's pink diamond engagement ring (that he spent more than $1 million for) for a paltry one grand. Gee, it's hard to combine insulting and unfunny, but Sharon pulled it off! (Teen Television)
-- Karen Croft
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Holy Moly. What a morning. Two big stories you'll want to check out immediately:
The groping rumors about Arnold Schwarzenegger have reached a completely new level this morning, thanks to the Los Angeles Times. The paper has interviewed six women who say they were harassed by the gubernatorial candidate during the '70s, '80s, '90s -- and one as recently as 2000. What we have here is several breast grabs, a few forced lap sits, repeated attempts at swimsuit removal in an elevator, a butt feel-up and some requests more alarming than anything Arnold said in that old Oui magazine feature.
"I remember thinking his hand was cold on my butt," one movie studio secretary whose ass was grabbed by the actor as her horrified boss looked helplessly on, told the paper.
"The first time, you're like, 'Oh, my God! I was groped by Arnold Schwarzenegger!' The second time you're like, 'This is disgusting.' The third time you're like, 'Get the ... away from me,'" said a "Terminator 2" crew member who recalls being pinned and fondled by Schwarzenegger "at least three times -- if not more" in a hotel elevator as she made her way to the swimming pool.
Another woman on the "Terminator 2" set recalls walking by Schwarzenegger and a group of other men during a break in filming. "I was walking on the set and Arnold called out, 'Come here, you sexy devil,' and reached out and pulled me on to his lap," she told the paper, adding that he then whispered in her ear: "Have you ever had a man slide his tongue in your (anus)?"
Oh, but there's more, much more, including a waitress at a restaurant frequented by Schwarzenegger and some of his buddies who came this close to dumping a pot of hot coffee on the actor's lap when he beckoned her over and asked her for a favor. "I thought, OK, maybe he wanted more bread. And he said, 'I want you to go in the bathroom, stick your finger in your (vagina), and bring it out to me.'"
What a guy. For the whole story -- and believe me, you really do need to read the whole story -- click here.
Oh, and also? The trouble's not over for Rush Limbaugh now that he's resigned from his football commentator thing over at ESPN over allegations of making a racist comment on the air. Nope. Not hardly. Today's National Enquirer brings news that Limbaugh's former housekeeper Wilma Cline claims she supplied her boss with illegally obtained prescription drugs -- OxyContin, Lorcet and hydrocodone -- for four years, and that when she tried to stop, he turned "nasty and bullying."
Two attempts at detox didn't seem to have much affect on Limbaugh, Cline claims, calculating that over one 47-day period, her boss went through 4,350 pills. "There were times when I worried," Cline said. "All these pills are enough to kill an elephant -- never mind a man." (National Enquirer via N.Y. Daily News)
-- Amy Reiter