LOS ANGELES — More than a decade before the #MeToo movement, Arnold Schwarzenegger was accused by multiple women of groping and humiliating them.
The year was 2003 and the “Terminator” star was running for governor of California.
He denied the allegations at the time and his campaign chalked it up to an escalating political attack against him.
Schwarzenegger now says “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. When I became governor, I wanted to make sure that no one, including me, ever makes this mistake,” he recently told Men’s Health. “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.”
Last year, allegations of sexual misconduct against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein kicked off an international conversation about the treatment of women and led to the downfall of several powerful men across several industries.
The allegations against Weinstein range from harassment to rape, include the stories of more than 80 women and span several decades. Through a spokesperson, Weinstein has repeatedly denied “any allegations of nonconsensual sex; he has pleaded not guilty to six sex crime charges in New York, including two counts of rape.
On Thursday, a New York judge dismissed one of the counts of criminal sexual act in the first degree against Weinstein.
Schwarzenegger, who left the governor’s office in 2011, was not criminally charged in connection with any of the allegations about him.
He told Men’s Health he has not changed his views on masculinity.
“I’m a guy,” Schwarzenegger said. “I would not change my view of who I am.”
The actor added “The woman I was originally most in love with was my mother.”
“I respected her, and she was a fantastic woman,” he said. “I always had respect for women.”
CNN has reached out to Schwarzenegger for additional comment.