With Schwarzenegger reeling from today's groping story, ABC News now declares that an old tale about Arnold (concerning Nazism, not sex) is true:
ABCNEWS obtained a copy of an unpublished book proposal with quotes from a verbatim transcript of an interview Schwarzenegger gave in 1975 while making the film Pumping Iron.
Asked who his heroes are, he answered, "I admired Hitler, for instance, because he came from being a little man with almost no formal education, up to power. I admire him for being such a good public speaker and for what he did with it."
He is quoted as saying he wished he could have an experience, "like Hitler in the Nuremberg stadium. And have all those people scream at you and just being total agreement whatever you say."
The author of the book proposal was Charles Butler, the director of Pumping Iron.
As the L.A. Times noted in 1996, this allegation appeared in Wendy Leigh's 1991 Schwarzenegger biography. Schwarzenegger later sued Leigh, but the suit concerned a 1988 newspaper article, not the book. Leigh went on to issue this apology: "Mr. Schwarzenegger has never espoused Nazi or anti-Semitic views, has never been an admirer of Hitler's evil regime, and he did not admire or approve of his father's alleged conduct." But the quote in the ABC story doesn't suggest that he admired Hitler's regime -- just Hitler himself, which isn't much better.
The 1996 L.A. Times article, by the way, quotes an chargefrom a 1992 Spy article that in the 1970s Schwarzenegger "enjoyed playing and giving away records of Hitler's speeches."