Another Alleged Victim Comes Forward

A woman who worked on two Schwarzenegger movies says he pulled up her shirt and took a picture without her consent. He denies it.

October 07, 2003|Carla Hall | Times Staff Writer

Prominent Democratic attorney Gloria Allred held a news conference Monday with a woman who leveled new charges of sexual harassment against gubernatorial candidate Arnold Schwarzenegger -- which his campaign immediately disputed.

Rhonda Miller, who was a stand-in and stunt double for then-13-year-old actor Edward Furlong during filming of the movie "Terminator 2," read a statement alleging that in January 1991 Schwarzenegger pulled up her shirt, photographed her breasts and touched them as she yelled at him to stop and fought him off. She also said he touched her breasts again when she worked in 1994 on the movie "True Lies."

Several hours later, Schwarzenegger's campaign issued a rebuttal to the charges and included a statement from the candidate saying that although he made numerous "crude comments" during that time, he never took the photograph and the events she alleged took place "did not occur."

Allred was flanked by Miller and Gary Horn, a man identified as her former husband, whom she told of the incident years ago. When reporters at the news conference in Allred's Los Angeles offices tried to question Miller and Horn, Allred said they would have no response. Allred also declined to make Miller available for comment later.

"I am speaking out publicly because in the last few days there seems to have been suggestions from Arnold's camp that Arnold didn't do what is alleged," Miller said in her statement. "I want people to know what he did to me was very serious and it has affected me for many years."

Miller said she was in the makeup trailer with Schwarzenegger when he asked her to pour him a cup of coffee. She had the cup in one hand and the pot in the other, she said, when "Arnold suddenly pulled up my shirt and snapped a Polaroid of my breasts. And I was horrified." Miller said she was not wearing a bra at the time.

Miller said she put down the coffee, "then he pushed me on the [makeup] chair. He lifted my shirt up and he began to suck on my breasts.... I screamed and yelled at him to stop.... I hit him in the head and kicked him."

She said she "broke free" and fled the trailer. When she returned an hour later, Miller said, the photo of her breasts had been affixed to the ceiling. Schwarzenegger was there, she said, lying on an inclined chair, "and he said, 'See, this is why I took the picture, so I could see your breasts all day.' "

In the campaign's statement, Schwarzenegger says, "I recall seeing photographs of crew members in the makeup trailer during the filming of 'T-2' and on numerous occasions made crude comments when a new photo would be added to the ceiling. If my crude comments offended anyone, I apologize.... With regards to all of the other comments that were made by Ms. Miller, they did not occur. I never took the photograph of Ms. Miller, nor was I in the trailer when the photograph was taken."

The campaign also released statements from two crew members on the film. Hairstylist Peter Tothpal was quoted by the campaign as saying, "I was the one who took the photograph. I can say with certainty that Arnold Schwarzenegger was not in the makeup trailer at the time the Polaroid photograph was taken. While we were waiting for the photo to develop, she was giggling and having a good time."

Jeff Dawn, the makeup supervisor on the film, is quoted in the statement as saying that Schwarzenegger was not one of "about six men and women in the trailer at the time the picture was taken."

Dawn said there were about a dozen Polaroids on the ceiling. "No faces were shown," he said in his statement. "They were basically pictures of things like body parts and tattoos."

Allred, who has represented numerous women in sexual harassment cases, responded: "If Mr. Schwarzenegger would like to testify under oath about this matter, then Rhonda will as well. She's willing to take a polygraph test if he's willing to take a polygraph test about her and all the other women."

Miller, who according to public records is 53 years old, said she still works in the entertainment industry.

She said in her statement that she reported Schwarzenegger's behavior to the Screen Actors Guild.

"We did receive a call from Ms. Miller in March 2003 about alleged harassment incidents regarding Mr. Schwarzenegger and others in the early 1990s," said Pamm Fair, SAG deputy national executive director. "She did not pursue a formal claim; however, her call was logged in."

Allred said the statute of limitations had expired for legal action on the allegations. The attorney, who said she does not represent Miller, said Miller sought her out.

Allred said she was contacted after Miller had complained to SAG but before allegations of harassment against Schwarzenegger were first published Thursday in The Times.

Times staff writer Lorenza Munoz contributed to this report.

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