The tabloid feeding frenzy on Arnold Schwarzenegger just veered into John Edwards territory: the ex-governor is being accused by William Taylor, a hotel security officer, of using state funds to help cover-up multiple affairs. Specifically, Taylor said that Arnold used highway patrol vehicles to shuttle women to and from a Sacramento Hyatt hotel. If the rumor has any legs, the California Attorney General's office could open up an investigation into misuse of funds.
There's plenty of dubious "if's" to the gossip right now and Arnold's lawyers have vehemently denied the claim. The rumor began with National Enquirer leading the charge that William Taylor believed it was "common knowledge" among California Highway Patrol that Arnold was shuttling women in the cars. Radar Online followed by saying it had sources in the state's Attorney General's office that said a "preliminary evaluation" of the rumor was underway. And over at TMZ, the website attempted to "shoot down" the allegation by noting that the police officer assigned to Arnold during his time as governor didn't think he did anything "inappropriate."
Schwarzenegger's lawyers, in response, lashed out at the tabloids. They chalked up the "completely false" claims to the "totally irresponsible" churning rumor mill that was "running stories that are made up by paying sources that have zero credibility." It's true, post-governor Arnold is now floating in a sea of unsubstantiated gossip, other women arriving out of the woodwork and very dubious accusations. That tends to happen when a high-profile politician admits to a major scandal.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.