Anna Richardson, the British TV journalist who accused Arnold Schwarzenegger of groping her during a 2000 interview, says she'll file a libel lawsuit against the governor this week after negotiations broke down. London's Independent says that the case could force Schwarzenegger to answer several of the women who say he has pawed them through the years. "As British court cases go, it could be the most high-profile yet, eclipsing the recent privacy battle of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones against Hello! magazine," writes legal affairs correspondent Robert Verkaik.
Richardson's specific allegation, says the Independent, is that when they met for a TV interview in London in December 2000:
"He kept saying how fantastic I looked and staring at my boobs. When I went to shake his hand he pulled me on to his knee, saying, 'I really want to know if your breasts are real'. I told him they are an F-cup. Before I knew what was happening he circled my nipple with his finger and gave it a squeeze. He then said, 'Yeah, they are real.' I stood up and said, 'You're making me nervous'. He told me not to be nervous and pulled me back on his knee. I said, 'Can I go, please?' He said, 'Yeah', and patted my bum as I went off."
The £100,000 libel suit would be based on Schwarzenegger's side denying the charge by accusing her of asking for it, implying that she unprofessionally uses sex as an interview technique. Trial would be set for later this year, the paper says. The New York Daily News also picked up the story.