Arnold Schwarzenegger says the man who attacked him at a meet-and-greet in South Africa this weekend was simply trying to become ‘famous’.
Fans were horrified on Saturday when the 71-year-old was attacked from behind and drop-kicked by a man who attended the annual Arnold Sports Festival in Sandton.
Footage of the incident shows Arnie being pushed forward before the attacker is grappled to the floor by the Hollywood star’s bodyguards.
After addressing the attack by thanking fans for their concerns, Arnold later called for fans not to circulate the footage to avoid making the attacker famous.
The former California governor told his 4.32 million Twitter followers: ‘Do me a favor: instead of sharing the video of the guy who wants to be famous, watch some of our @ArnoldSports athletes like this young hero proving that fitness is for everyone who deserve to be famous. They’re on my Snapchat.
‘We have 90 sports here in South Africa at the @ArnoldSports, and 24,000 athletes of all ages and abilities inspiring all of us to get off the couch. Let’s put this spotlight on them.’
He added: ‘And if you have to share the video (I get it), pick a blurry one without whatever he was yelling so he doesn’t get the spotlight. By the way… block or charge?’
Despite the scare, Arnold has maintained his good sense of humour and was entertained by a fan’s commentary of the attack, after they said the man ‘bounced off [Arnold] like a ping pong ball hitting a gorilla’.
Appreciating the wit, Arnie replied: ‘Keep your analogies coming, my friend! They’re fantastic.’
Moments after the incident, Arnie continued to greet fans like a true professional but his security team whisked him away just minutes later.
Speaking out for the first time after the drama, the Terminator actor said: ‘Thanks for your concerns, but there is nothing to worry about.
‘I thought I was just jostled by the crowd, which happens a lot. I only realized I was kicked when I saw the video like all of you. I’m just glad the idiot didn’t interrupt my Snapchat [sic].’