Arnold Schwarzenegger says he feels bad about his past treatment of women: 'I stepped over the line several times'

Sexual misconduct accusations against Arnold Schwarzenegger came years before Harvey Weinstein and other powerful men in Hollywood were called out in the #MeToo movement.

Multiple women accused Schwarzenegger of having touched them in a sexual way without their permission during his 2003 run for the California governor’s seat. He apologized at the time for having “behaved badly” toward women over the years, but he also said that he couldn’t remember exactly what he’d done, since some of the accusations were from decades before. “Most of it is not true,” he said at the time. In 2011, the Terminator star admitted to fathering a child with his family housekeeper during his marriage to now ex-wife Maria Shriver.

Schwarzenegger, 71, spoke to Men’s Health about whether, if he could go back in time, he would want to treat the women in his life differently.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger through the years
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Arnold Schwarzenegger through the years
Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger poses at a premiere for "The 15:17 to Paris" in Burbank, California, U.S., February 5, 2018. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
"My body. *My* choice!"
As a kid himself!
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 08: Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his daughter Katherine attend Trust Your Senses At DVF for Fashion's Night Out on September 8, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images for DVF)
NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 16: (LtoR) California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger with son Patrick Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver and Christopher Schwarzenegger watch during NBA All-Star Saturday Night part of 2008 NBA All-Star Weekend at the New Orleans Arena on February 16, 2008 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - NOVEMBER 16: Arnold Schwarzenegger and wife Maria Shriver are on hand at the Plaza Hotel where he was honored with a Global Youth Peace & Tolerance Award. (Photo by Richard Corkery/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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E366553 3/26/00 Los Angeles, Ca. Arnold Schwarzenegger And Wife Maria Shriver At The 72Nd Annual Academy Awards. Dave Mcnewonline Usa Inc. (Photo By David Mcnew/Getty Images)
368141 12: ***ESCLUSIVE*** Arnold Schwarzenegger plays in the hotel swimming pool with one of his daughters during an Easter vacation April 21, 2000 in Maui, Hawaii. (Photo by Chris Morton/Online USA)
BEIJING - MAY 19: (NO U.S. TABLOID SALES) Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, television journalist Maria Shriver, visit the Forbidden City during a Special Olympics Event May 19, 2000 in Beijing, China. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
Arnold Schwarzenegger & Family during Hollywood Celebrity Families turn out to Celebrate Old Navy and P.S. Arts Partnership at Old Navy Store in Santa Monica, California, United States. (Photo by SGranitz/WireImage)
399207 01: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his son, Patrick, pose in front of an F-22 Raptor with airmen in this undated recent photo at Edwards Air Force Base in California. In a recent poll, military members voted Schwarzenegger the star they would most like to meet. (Photo by Stacee McCausland/USAF/Getty Images)
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 17: California Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger walks with his wife Maria Shriver and their four children to his inaugural ceremony at the State Capitol in Sacramento on Novemeber 17, 2003 in Sacramento, California. (Photo by Lucy Nicholson-Pool/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MAY 01: Eunice Shriver with daughter Maria, Arnold Schwarzenegger and some of her grandchildren attending the National Center on Poverty Law's Tribute to Sargent Shriver at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA 05/01/03 (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, UNITED STATES: Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger(2nd from R) and his wife Maria Shriver(R) arrive at the premiere of the Steven Spielberg movie 'Amistad' with family members Bobby Shriver(L), Timothy Shriver(2nd from L) and his wife(C) 08 December in Beverly Hills. The film about a slave ship revolt stars Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins. AFP PHOTO Vince BUCCI/mn (Photo credit should read Vince Bucci/AFP/Getty Images)
"Money doesn't make you happy. I now have $50 million but I was just as happy when I had $48 million."
"My body is like breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I don't think about it, I just have it."
"The mind is the limit. As long as the mind can envision the fact that you can do something, you can do it, as long as you really believe 100 percent."
"Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer."
"I have to give the audiences what they enjoy seeing while I try to bring in a little something new"
"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths. When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, that is strength."
"You know, nothing is more important than education, because nowhere are our stakes higher; our future depends on the quality of education of our children today."
"People should make up their own mind about what they think of me."
Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz talks to actor Arnold Schwarzenegger in his office in Vienna, Austria January 24, 2018. REUTERS/Heinz-Peter Bader
Arnold Schwarzenegger helps Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche at a news conference to unveil new Mercedes G-Class models at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S. January 14, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Arnold Schwarzenegger and Linda Hamilton

The pair first starred in the franchise in 1984.

Linda Hamilton und Arnold Schwarzenegger im Jahr 2984 (Bild: ddp images)
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“Looking back, I stepped over the line several times, and I was the first one to say sorry. I feel bad about it, and I apologize,” Schwarzenegger said. “When I became governor, I wanted to make sure that no one, including me, ever makes this mistake. That’s why we took sexual harassment courses, to have a clear understanding, from a legal point of view and also from a regular-behavior point of view, of what is accepted and what is not.”

After Schwarzenegger was elected, despite the sexual misconduct accusations, he and his staff participated in a course on preventing sexual harassment.

The Expendables actor also said in the interview that his take on masculinity has stayed the same in the age of #MeToo.

“I’ve not changed my view. I’m a guy,” he said. “I would not change my view of who I am. The woman I was originally most in love with was my mother. I respected her, and she was a fantastic woman. I always had respect for women.”

What has changed is his opinion about referring to his political opponents as “girlie men,” which he did back in 2004, but not for the reason that you might think.

“At the time it felt like the right thing to do. It was in my gut. I improvised it,” Schwarzenegger said. “I called them girlie men because they weren’t willing to take risks. They were afraid of everything. Politicians in general want to do little things so there’s no risk involved. But it was shortsighted. In the long term, it’s better to not say that, because you want to work with them.”

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