Arnold Schwarzenegger is being sued by a woman who claims he launched a dirty tricks campaign against her on the eve of his election as California Governor, it emerged today.
Stunt woman Rhonda Miller was one of a number of women who claimed to have been groped by the actor-turned politician.
But the day before Californians went to the polls Schwarzenegger’s office allegedly issued an advisory to the media, detailing information about a convicted criminal called Rhonda Miller.
Within hours Ms Miller was branded a criminal on news programmes.
Only days after the election, with Schwarzenegger victorious, did it emerge that Ms Miller had no criminal record.
The information alluded to by the Schwarzenegger campaign team, and carried on a law enforcement website, was about a different woman.
Gloria Allred, a California attorney who appeared alongside Ms Miller when she made her groping claims, was holding a press conference later today to announce the lawsuit.
At the briefing she would “announce a filing of a libel lawsuit against Governor Schwarzenegger and his campaign committee”, her office said.
She said in a statement: “On October 6, 2003, Ms Miller held a news conference with Ms Allred in which Ms Miller alleged that she had been sexually harassed by Mr Schwarzenegger when she worked as a stunt woman in a movie with him.
Shortly after the news conference that day the Schwarzenegger campaign sent an e-mail to reporters which appeared to suggest that Ms Miller was a convicted felon.
“The truth was, however, that the Rhonda Miller, who held the news conference with Ms Allred, had never been arrested for anything in her life.
“The false information about Ms Allred’s client was broadcast on national television.”
No comment was immediately available from Schwarzenegger.