Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s campaign had no evidence a woman accusing him of sexual assault had a criminal record before it sent out an e-mail suggesting that reporters look into her background, reports the Los Angeles Times. Files in Rhonda Miller’s libel suit against the governor and others showed that the campaign had sent out an earlier e-mail that suggested the 53-year-old stuntwoman had a criminal record. Soon after sending the e-mails, the campaign determined that Miller had no criminal record, but never issued a clarification or an apology.
Miller charges that the campaign knowingly smeared her after she accused him of twice accosting her on movie sets. Schwarzenegger has denied the charges and said he had no role in the controversial e-mails.
In a deposition last week, campaign spokesman Sean Walsh testified that he decided to send out the e-mail about Miller after the campaign received information raising questions about her background and suspicions about her motives. Walsh said he had been told that Miller had told others Schwarzenegger was a “decent, terrific person” and that she might have had a substance abuse history that led to a “need for money.”