Writing exclusively for Celebuzz, Ian Halperin — author of The Governator — explores the motivations behind Arnold Schwarzenegger’s new tell-all book, Total Recall, and why it might be an attempt by the former Governor of California to get him back into the good graces of the public — and political office.
Last year, when I broke a world exclusive story that Arnold Schwarzenegger had signed a book deal with Simon & Schuster to write a tell-all about his life, my phone started ringing off the hook.
The first call I got was from one of Arnold’s longtime political advisors, who was also a source in my book.
“I can’t believe he’s going to do this,” the source said. “Most likely, it will be some sugar-coated puff piece. If Arnold ever told the truth about his life, warts and all, I don’t think he’d ever work again in any of the fields he succeeded in.”
Now, a day after his interview with 60 Minutes, there has been much fodder and debate as to why Schwarzenegger decided to write the book in the first place.
The Internet Monday was rife with speculation about how Arnold left out the more salacious details of his life. Perhaps his book should have been called Convenient Recall, as it appears he focused on what has already come out about his life in the mainstream media.
“He only admitted to the affair with Brigitte Nielsen because she put it out there last year in her own book,” one of Schwarzenegger’s longtime friends said. “There’s so many other women he had flings with but he doesn’t get into them at all.”
“He’s afraid to reveal all, because it’s not in his best interests at all to do so,” the friend continued. “He doesn’t want more women to come forward claiming he’s the father of their babies.”
For Schwarzenegger, regurgitating all the sordid details of his rocky marriage to Maria Shriver and the son he had out of wedlock with the family housekeeper is a major risk, although likely a calculated one.
The controversial figure’s compulsive cheating, groping and dishonesty has cast a cloud over the legacy of his accomplishments as a bodybuilder, actor and politician. Clearly, the publication of Total Recall is a last-ditch attempt to counter the negative publicity and precipitous decline in popularity he experienced after the cheating scandal first broke in May 2011.
But the book could also be part of a larger plan to get Arnold back into political office — and not just any office. Sources claim that Arnold, who was born in Austria, has devised a bold new strategy to amend the Constitution to allow foreign-born citizens like himself to run for the Oval Office.
Several people in his camp confirmed to me how Arnold and his loyalists are considering a startling plan in which Arnold would run for president in 2016. In doing so, he would enter the race as an Independent, and not as a Republican.
“Arnold has achieved everything he set out to since he moved to the U.S. some four decades ago,” his close friend said. “The only thing left for him to achieve would be the White House. That’s why he released the book at this time. He wants to get good publicity again and gain momentum to change the Constitution to allow him to make a run in 2016.”
In the meantime, a source close to the Schwarzenegger family said she wouldn’t be surprised to see another tell-all book published in the future — this time, from Maria.
“Even though Arnold says Maria hasn’t read his book, I find it hard to believe that he hasn’t shared any details with her,” the source said. “The talk in her camp is that after Arnold’s book dies down she’ll announce her own book deal. Word on the street is that she’s entertaining offers in the 10-20 million dollar range.”
“That’s why she’s not doing any PR during Arnold’s book tour,” the source continued. “She’ll answer everything when the time is right in her own book, in which a lot of things will differ from Arnold’s book. Right now the public is left believing Arnold. When Maria is done Arnold’s version of events could appear to be inconclusive and highly distorted.”
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Ian Halperin is a New York Times bestselling author. He wrote The Governator: From Muscle Beach to His Quest for the White House, the Improbable Rise of Arnold Schwarzenegger, released by Harper Collins in October 2010.