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3 More Women Allege Misconduct

THE RECALL CAMPAIGN

In all, 11 women have said Schwarzenegger touched them without their consent. The candidate denies new allegations.

October 04, 2003|Tracy Weber, Sue Fox and Megan Garvey | Times Staff Writers

Three more women said Friday that Arnold Schwarzenegger had grabbed or groped them.

The new allegations against the Republican front-runner in the race to replace Gov. Gray Davis came a day after he issued a blanket apology for "behaving badly" in the past.

The women who spoke Friday are:

* An assistant director on the 1988 film "Twins," who said the actor had regularly undressed in front of her in his trailer. Once, she said, he pulled her down on a bed while he was wearing only underwear. His behavior on the set, said Linnea Harwell, who has since left the entertainment industry, prompted her to warn women who came to her with concerns never to be alone with Schwarzenegger.

* Carla Baron, a stand-in on the same movie set, who said the actor had sandwiched her between himself and a crew member and forced his tongue into her mouth.

* Collette Brooks, an intern at CNN in Los Angeles in the early 1980s, who said Schwarzenegger had grabbed her buttocks and told her she had a "nice ass." She said the incident occurred in a stairwell when she was 23 and that it had left her scared and shaken. She spoke about her alleged encounter at an event organized by opponents to Schwarzenegger's candidacy.

Regarding the alleged incidents on the "Twins" set, Schwarzenegger said through spokesman Sean Walsh that "neither of these events occurred."

Walsh said he had spoken to "Twins" director Ivan Reitman, along with the producer, publicist and others who worked on the film, "all of whom were on the set almost nonstop. All have said that they never witnessed this and would find it impossible to believe that this would have occurred."

Walsh said the candidate had no comment on Brooks' allegation.

Schwarzenegger issued his general apology after a story in The Times on Thursday detailed allegations from six women, dating back as far as 1975 and as recently as 2000, who said he had groped and humiliated them.

Schwarzenegger said Thursday that he didn't remember specifics of his behavior, but acknowledged: "I have done things that were not right, which I thought then was playful. But I now recognize that I have offended people. And to those people that I have offended, I want to say to them, I am deeply sorry about that, and I apologize."

Including the three women who spoke Friday, 11 women have said that Schwarzenegger touched them without their consent. Seven of the women have given their names. Four have requested anonymity, saying they feared repercussions.

Like those quoted in earlier reports, the women who spoke Friday had told other people about the encounters long before Schwarzenegger began his campaign for governor.

Harwell, who was charged with keeping Schwarzenegger on schedule on the Santa Fe, N.M., set of "Twins," described a difficult environment for women.

"Everyone knew what was going on," said Harwell, who is now a manager of an art museum in Atlanta.

Harwell said her job on "Twins" frequently required her to get Schwarzenegger from his dressing room. She said he regularly stripped naked in front of her. "I never had that experience with other actors," Harwell said. "It was just inappropriate."

She said that one time, as she waited for Schwarzenegger to sign a release in his room, he began taking off his clothes. "I said, 'Can you please sign this? I have to go back to the set.' " Harwell said Schwarzenegger, dressed in undershorts, approached her and started pulling her down on the bed.

"He said, 'I'll sign it, why don't you lay down next to me?' " Harwell said. "He was laughing like it was all a big joke. Well, it wasn't. It was scary."

When someone called on her walkie-talkie, Harwell said, Schwarzenegger let her go. After that, Harwell said, she always made sure another person accompanied her on the set, and she avoided entering Schwarzenegger's dressing room.

Harwell said Schwarzenegger's friends were on the lookout in case the actor's wife, Maria Shriver, showed up. "Everything changed when Maria came on the set."

When Shriver wasn't around, Harwell said, Schwarzenegger made rude comments without regard to who overheard. "Why does he think he could get away with it? But he could," she said.

Harwell's husband, Michael, said his wife told him about the alleged encounters with Schwarzenegger in 1996.

"I would ask her about people she had worked with and naturally, when Arnold's name came up, it was not pleasant," Harwell said. "She said she would go to his trailer to get him and he would be naked or taking his clothes off."

Told late Friday of Schwarzenegger's denial, Harwell said: "Well, he can say that but it's not true....I don't know what's going to happen. All I know is we're telling the truth."

The Times contacted Harwell after interviewing another woman on the set, Carla Baron, who said she had had problems with Schwarzenegger.

Baron, then 28, said she was a stand-in for lead actress Kelly Preston. She said the reports this week about Schwarzenegger reminded her of the feelings of powerlessness and humiliation she experienced.

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