Quotes Arnold wishes he could take back

A look at Schwarzenegger's public thoughts on life, love, sexual harassment and modesty

By Emma Mustich
Published May 17, 2011 11:18PM (UTC)
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FILE -- In an April 26, 1986 file photo Maria Shriver, left, and Arnold Schwarzenegger pose outside St. Francis Xavier Church, in Hyannis, Mass., after they were married. Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, announced Monday May 9, 2011, that they are separating. (AP Photo/Mike Kullenfile) (AP)

In light of today's big news, we took a look through Arnold Schwarzenegger's many memorable quotes through the years, in search of a deeper glimpse into his character.

  • On modesty: "I knew I was a winner. I knew I was destined for great things. People will say that kind of thinking is totally immodest. I agree. 'Modesty' is not a word that applies to me in any way." [Arnold: "The Education of a Bodybuilder," 1977]
  • On women's clothing: "I hate pants. This is something I have inherited from my father. He despised pants, and my mother was never allowed to wear them at home. We're talking about a different time period now, when the man was much more the ruler of the house. But I still feel that way, and neither my mother nor Maria is allowed to go out with me in pants." [Playboy, 1988]
  • On parenthood: "The parents are the single most important influence on a child, followed by education and the peer group.  ... I see it firsthand in my family. If I am away on a film for three weeks, even though I come home every weekend, you can see the kids getting out of control. One person cannot create the discipline and the guidance and helping with homework. When I am at home, Maria and I drive the kids to school together; we pick them up together; we take them to dancing, soccer, horseback riding lessons. It takes a lot of effort. If you are not on top of the situation, the kids lose confidence in you." [Salon, 2001]
  • On his marriage to Maria Shriver: "We're the happiest couple in the world ... [Maria is] the greatest wife and greatest mother." ["The Michael Medved Show," during the California gubernatorial campaign]
  • On "sexual standards": "I have no sexual standards in my head that say this is good or this is bad. Homosexual -- that only means to me that he enjoys sex with a man and I enjoy sex with a woman. It's all legitimate to me." [Cosmopolitan, via Time]
  • On sexual harassment allegations (I): "I know the people of California can see through this trash politics. Let me tell you something ... A lot of those that you see in the stories is not true. But at the same time, I have to tell you that I always say, wherever there is smoke, there is fire." [Boston Globe, 2003]
  • On sexual harassment allegations (II): "I learned my lesson. I had several harassment lessons ... I know now what can be said and what can't be said ... Now I would not even tell someone I like their outfit. It could go south." [Vanity Fair, 2005]
  • On his wife: "This is what she fell in love with -- me. This is the way I am -- outrageous, out there. And it comes with things that are not all rosy." [Vanity Fair, 2005]
  • On the Kennedys: "I call the family clones. Everyone in the family thinks exactly the same. If her mother says it is green, it is green. If her father says it is black, it is black. When you are in the family, you think this is normal, and then you meet someone from the outside and the lights go on. Here was a guy who was free ... If he wants to be a Republican, he is a Republican. If he wants to be a movie star, he is a movie star." [Vanity Fair, 2005]

We'll add to this list as we find more quotes. Add your own suggestions in the comments section. 

Emma Mustich

Emma Mustich is a Salon contributor. Follow her on Twitter: @emustich.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger