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Schwarzenegger promises 'swift action' on wife's in-car cellphone use

'Thanks for bringing her violations to my attention,' governor tweets after TMZ.com posts two photographs of Maria Shriver holding a cellphone to her ear in the car.

October 14, 2009|Michael Rothfeld

SACRAMENTO — Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who recently revealed that he cuts off the water when his children take extremely long showers, may have entered a new realm of domestic drama Tuesday involving a more formidable member of his household: his wife.

Schwarzenegger promised "swift action" after TMZ.com posted two pictures of Maria Shriver driving while apparently violating the hands-free cellphone requirement he signed into law.

The pictures show Shriver with her right hand on the wheel and her left holding a cellphone to her ear. One is dated July 12, 2009, and the other was taken Sunday, according to TMZ. The pictures appear with an article that begins, "Maria Maria, cell phone cheatah!"

The state ban on hand-held cellphone use while driving went into effect July 1, 2008. It carries a fine of $20 on the first conviction and $50 on the second, not including penalties. Schwarzenegger responded to TMZ founder Harvey Levin via Twitter, writing, "Thanks for bringing her violations to my attention. . . . There's going to be swift action."

What action? That's unclear. It's unlikely that Schwarzenegger, who earlier Tuesday was promoting his wife's ice cream venture, Lovin' Scoopful, would try to terminate her phone privileges -- lest he be terminated himself.

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michael.rothfeld@latimes.com

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