Now what? - Lauren Booth explains how to deal with gropers like Arnie

He began rubbing my backside as if checking out an uncertain melon

So there (allegedly) were Arnie and Miss X in his trailer, on the set of one of his movies. Suddenly, a journalist or personal assistant (this is an urban legend, after all, and liable to change on each retelling) burst in, catching the pair in a delicate position.

"But . . . you're married," spluttered the hack/assistant.

The Terminator turned his gigantic face around and leered: "Yes. But eating isn't cheating." The Austrian muscle mountain is supposed to have then returned coolly to the business at hand while the stunned onlooker backed out of the trailer, blushing. What a brilliant, if arrogant, response. How did he come up with that one-liner on the spur of the moment, though? Most men I know, if caught in that position, would hurl themselves tearfully beneath the nearest duvet and whimper: "I know, I know. Please don't tell her. It's never happened before/won't happen again."

Not Arnie. After all, he's a superstar. What the big jerk really meant was: "I don't need to play by your rules, earthling. I'm famous." I can just see Bill Clinton hearing this story and kicking himself for not having come out with that line. Simply by rhyming, Arnie made his infidelity cool. It scans better, too, than the clunky effort "I did not have sexual relations with that woman". As for Arnie, he should bring out a workout video. Tip number one could be: "Don't get bored doing the repetitions. Just focus on creating rhyming quips to make your peccadilloes funny enough to win you an election."

One female journalist was asked if she'd ever been "groped" by Schwarzenegger while interviewing him. After saying he'd always been a perfect gentleman, she added: "Perhaps I'm just not his type." If my daughter hadn't been in the room, I would have put my foot through the television screen. No wonder footballers and boxers get second chances from male fans after they are caught abusing, molesting or attacking women. Aren't we asking for it when we make remarks that suggest we want to be attractive to rapists such as Mike Tyson or sexy enough to serve as an afternoon buffet for the Terminator?

It would be typical of this new wave of female desperation if the new governor of California were now hit by a series of lawsuits. Not brought by women whom he has manhandled, but by those he hasn't; all of them suffering depression and low self-esteem because a star didn't grope them when he had the chance.

Back in the olden days, when I was clubbing from dusk to dawn, I rubbed shoulders with stunning girls desperate to be taken home by famous men. For girls who worked as lap dancers, the preference was for famous men who had drugs; other "models" homed in on telly stars who drank a lot, athletes who talked obsessively about themselves or (on a dull night) businessmen who splashed cash around.

Once, a lap dancer/model invited my friend and me to a huge hotel suite in Mayfair for a "party". I hated the atmosphere from the moment the door opened. The room was smoky, champagne flowed. A group of girls dressed in Britney Spears chic looked me over with barely disguised disgust. I was mutton to their lamb, an unwanted complication in an otherwise straightforward transaction.

The men looked me over as if I were an appetiser in an "all you can eat" buffet. I was poured a glass of champagne and then, like Arnie, was saved by a surprising and crude one-liner. The businessman lighting my cigarette began rubbing my backside as if checking the shape and texture of an uncertain melon.

"Have I got something stuck to my trousers?" I asked, gritting my teeth. "If so, brush it off. Or fuck off."

He made his excuses and left. I did the same - after finishing my glass of Cristal, of course.

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