Doctor Told To Pay Schwarzenegger
Nov. 30, 1999
BERLIN (AP) _ A court ordered a doctor Tuesday to pay $10,500 to Arnold Schwarzenegger and retract his 1998 prediction that the actor didn't have much longer to live.
Dr. Willi Heepe, a Berlin heart specialist and sports doctor, made the comment during a radio interview while discussing the connection between anabolic steroids and heart disease.
Although Heepe apologized in an exchange of letters with Schwarzenegger's attorneys, he refused to sign a statement they had drafted, leading to the court case.
Heepe's attorney said the doctor cited Schwarzenegger simply as a ``symbol of the cult surrounding the body,'' adding that it was well known the actor had heart surgery in 1997. Schwarzenegger says the operation fixed a congenital heart condition that had not been causing any problems.
Schwarzenegger's attorney accused Heepe of ``stubbornness'' and said even public figures had a right to be protected from such speculative medical diagnoses.
The civil court agreed, fined Heepe and ordered him to retract the statement, never repeat it and publicly state that he had never examined Schwarzenegger.