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Arnold's Mom Thought He Was Gay: "It’s Only Naked Men, Oiled-Up"

Arnold's Mom Thought He Was Gay: "It’s Only Naked Men, Oiled-Up"

Side by side photos of Arnold Schwarzenegger
Kathy Hutchins/Shutterstock; @arnoldrarepics/Instagram

Arnold Schwarzenegger's new Netflix documentary spills all the tea, including why his mother was convinced he was gay.

Years before gracing the silver screen and uttering the phrase “I’ll be back,” Arnold Schwarzennegger found huge success as a bodybuilder.

By the time he was 20, Schwarzenegger had already been crowned Mr. Universe and before quitting the sport he took home the Mr. Olympia title seven times.

In his new limited-series documentary for Netflix, the 75-year-old The Terminator star opens up about his career as a bodybuilder and how his obsession with English bodybuilder Reg Park led his mom to question his sexuality.

“I was so amazed by this body, I just could not get it out of my mind,” the former governor of California admits in the documentary. “The testosterone was kicking in, getting interested in girls was kicking in, everything started happening.”

Schwarzenegger’s admiration for Park caused him to start hitting the gym and building muscles of his own. “This guy is my idol. He was my blueprint in where I wanted to go in life.”

Like a typical teenager, Schwarzenegger plastered his walls with posters, but instead of taping up images of bands he loved, women in bikinis or sports cars, the action movie star hung up posters of Park and other nearly-nude bodybuilders. For the Conan the Barbarian star the posters were inspirational, but they led his mom to think he as gay.

“My mother got freaked out,” Schwarzenegger recalls. “She said, ‘All his friends have girls above their bed. My son doesn’t have one girl up here. Look at that. It’s only naked men, oiled-up.'”

The three-part documentary titled Arnold covers more than just his love of a homoerotic sport, it also dives into his abusive childhood, his marriage to Maria Shriver (and his infidelity), the accusations that he grouped 15 women over the course of his career, and his turn as a the Republican governor of California during which he blocked marriage equality.

The Netflix doc also boasts star-studded interviews, including Sylvester Stallone (who starred opposite Schwarzenegger in The Expendables after a long rivalry), The Terminator director James Cameron, and his True Lies costar Jamie Lee Curtis.

All three episodes of the docu-series are available now on Netflix.

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Ariel Messman-Rucker

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.

Ariel Messman-Rucker is an Oakland-born journalist who now calls the Pacific Northwest her home. When she’s not writing about politics and queer pop culture, she can be found reading, hiking, or talking about horror movies with the Zombie Grrlz Horror Podcast Network.