Arnold and Sly and Maria and Brigitte

The story told me by an admirer of Arnold Schwarzenegger is that in the early-to-mid 1980s, Arnold was courting Maria Shriver, daughter of the 1972 Democratic vice-presidential candidate and niece of the late President.

However, a contractual obligation arising from his starring role in Conan the Barbarian meant he had to go to Spain to make a crummier sword-and-sandal epic for Dino de Laurentis, Red Sonja. One consolation turned out to be the very young, very tall, very enthusiastic Danish model who was playing Red Sonja, Brigitte Nielsen. Arnold and Brigitte immediately began a passionate affair. It was so intense that he began to wonder about his plans for marrying into the Kennedy-Shriver dynasty. Would it be worth it to sacrifice everything he had planned in terms of his ascent in American life just for this extremely hot number? Maybe …

Finally, Arnold`s self-discipline won out. He resolved to return to Maria. But what if Brigitte pursued him? Could he resist? Then Arnold got a phone call from his agent (or perhaps his lawyer, I forget). He was coming to Spain with another client, Sylvester Stallone, the biggest action movie hero in the world at the time. What about getting together for dinner on Arnold`s last night in Spain? Stallone had long badmouthed Schwarzenegger, so there was no love lost between the two.

Arnold came up with a plan. He invited Brigitte to accompany him to the dinner. She was thrilled about publicly being Arnold`s date and thrilled about meeting a much bigger star. He told her he had some things to do, so to meet him at the restaurant. She went to the dinner with Stallone, but he hopped a plane back to Maria.

Not long afterwards, Sly and Brigitte married. He stuck her in his 1985 movie Cobra. Soon, they divorced, with Sly complaining that she had messed with his head so badly he hadn`t been able to concentrate on his career. She went on to four more husbands. I can`t remember if she officially married Flavor Flav. She recently starred in a reality show in which she got massive plastic surgery and then was photographed in chain mail lingerie.

Arnold married Maria Shriver, had four (legitimate) children, displaced Sly as the top action star, and was elected to two terms as governor of California.

Or, at least, that`s what I heard.

I know it sounds crazy, but my friend swears that this movie muscleman was elected governor.