‘I feel good about the decision,’ Schwarzenegger said in his first public comments on the row. I happen to know the kid (Nuñez) really well. I don’t apologise about it.

‘There’s criticism out there. I think it’s just because of our working relationship and all that. It maybe was kind of saying, ‘That’s why he did it.’

‘Well, hello! I mean, of course you help a friend.’

The former governor’s admission is likely to provoke a furious response from the family of victim 22-year-old victim Luis Santos.