LOS ANGELES -- A woman who alleged sexual harassment by Arnold Schwarzenegger filed a libel lawsuit yesterday against the governor, saying his staff falsely suggested in an e-mail that she was a convicted felon.
Rhonda Miller, who alleges the actor groped her when she was working as a stunt woman, says that she has never been arrested and that the false information about her was broadcast on national television reports.
An attorney for Schwarzenegger, elected despite several similar allegations, dismissed the lawsuit as an attempt to gain publicity, and said he expects it to be thrown out.
With attorney Gloria Allred by her side, Miller made the groping allegations in an Oct. 7 news conference, the day before the California gubernatorial recall election.
Within hours, the Schwarzenegger campaign sent an e-mail to several reporters directing them to the Los Angeles Superior Court Web site and instructing them to type in the name "Rhonda Miller."
That produced court records for a woman named Rhonda Miller with a long criminal record.
The e-mail also noted that Allred was a large contributor to Democratic candidates, including then-governor Gray Davis.
Schwarzenegger attorney Marty Singer denied that the e-mail suggested Miller had a criminal record. The e-mail "does not state specifically that this is the same woman who was making the claim the night before the election," Singer said.