IMF chief Dominic Strauss Kahn and Arnold Schwarzenegger have crashed from positions of supreme power to disgrace, public ridicule and tabloid headlines.
Some people have said we shouldn’t be lumping these two men and these two stories together like I’m doing right now. One is an accused rapist and the other simply an adulterer.
But to me, there are a lot of similarities. Because Arnold Schwarzenegger is not just a guy who has cheated on his wife.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long history of form when it comes to sexually harassing women. Decades of it.
We first learnt about this back in 2003, when a number of women nervously and reluctantly came forward to state that the movie-star turned politician had done some extremely demeaning things to them: public–groping of their breasts and other body parts, unwanted, invasive kisses, crude, belittling comments….it was a pretty sordid list.
After initially denying it and being defended by his wife, Maria Shriver , Schwarzenegger finally acknowledged he’d behaved badly. What happened next? He was elected to the role of Californian governor in a landslide.
So I’ve been interested to note how quickly the media jumped on the term ‘lovechild’ to describe the son Schwarzenegger fathered with his housekeeper.
It’s a strange description.
Because in fact we know nothing about the circumstances around the boy’s conception, whether he was born of love or not. Nor do we know what happened afterwards.
What we DO know is that the relationship between one of the world’s most famous and well-paid men and his employee could never have been an equal one.