Arnold Schwarzenegger was bragging that he was about to sign the biggest book deal of all time a month before the news broke in May that he fathered a love child with his housekeeper. But after the scandal, it’s Maria Shriver’s book that publishers are chasing, sources say.
Fresh off his term as governor of California, Schwarzenegger had big plans to preserve his legacy. Insiders say his lawyers were reviewing fine print on an agreement for a multimillion-dollar memoir deal. Newsweek reported that “Ahnuld” was reading scripts to relaunch his movie career, and searching for a ghostwriter for the book. “He wanted to break a record with his payout,” a source said.
Schwarzenegger’s publicist told the New York Post, “I can confirm that the governor is considering a memoir and has looked at offers from different publishers.” But publishers now say he’s “untouchable” following the scandal, and that he’s no longer the “sympathetic character” he once was.
“No woman is going to pay to read Arnold’s story through his eyes,” one publishing source said. “Maria has a story to tell, and she’s a known, best-selling author.”
Despite the setback, sources say Schwarzenegger still wants his record-breaking deal, and he’s willing to write a two-volume memoir if that’s what it takes. His rep said, “That’s not accurate.”
Eyebrows are being raised over the fact that literary agent Jan Miller is representing both Shriver and Schwarzenegger on their possible deals.
“I can’t believe Maria would allow Jan to sell his book,” a source said, “considering they have been friends for so long.”
But there may be a precedent for Schwarzenegger — Sandra Bullock’s philandering ex, Jesse James, recently published with Simon & Schuster.