Arnold Schwarzenegger met physical therapist Heather Milligan in 2012 after he underwent a shoulder surgery; they were first linked romantically in 2013
While Schwarzenegger, 76, spoke with PEOPLE recently about his 2024 Super Bowl commercial for State Farm, he noted that Milligan, a physical therapist who frequently works with professional athletes at her Los Angeles-based clinic Elite OrthoSport, is a major football fan.
"I'm watching not only because I'm interested in [the game], but my girlfriend Heather, she has this big physical therapy clinic and she treats a lot of the football players and a lot of the UFC fighters and boxers and basketball players and everything," Schwarzenegger says of Milligan, whom he first met in 2012 after his own shoulder surgery. "After surgery, she gets them over to her clinic and has to kind of rebuild them."
"And so I get to meet a lot of those football players when they come to her clinic because I go there sometimes myself and get some therapy sessions done and all that stuff," he adds. "So she's heavily into football and all of the sports, basketball, baseball and all of that. So because of her, I'll watch also."
Schwarzenegger is starring in State Farm's "Agent State Farm" ad campaign for Sunday's game between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Fransisco 49ers. Despite the high-profile spot, though, the longtime action star and former bodybuilder is not taking sides.
"It doesn't matter to me," he tells PEOPLE, when asked who he is rooting for Sunday. "I've been really enjoying watching those teams play and I'm really looking forward to that. No matter what it is, if you watch the best you're going to enjoy it."
Schwarzenegger and Milligan were first linked romantically in 2013, two years after the action star-turned-politician split from his ex-wife Maria Shriver. Schwarzenegger recounted to PEOPLE back in September that his surgeon recommended he visit Milligan's practice after he underwent surgery while he prepared to film 2013’s Escape Plan with Sylvester Stallone.
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"So I went to her, and then after my therapy was finished, after I was finished with the movie, I called her back and took her out for lunch to say thank you," Schwarzenegger told PEOPLE at the time. "And then one thing led to the next.”
Milligan holds a degree in physical therapy and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. According to her biography on her clinic's website, Milligan "currently maintains three highly regarded certifications, placing her in an elite class of physical therapists in the country."
“We have so many things in common,” Schwarzenegger previously told PEOPLE. “I think the world of her. I love that she’s into working. She’s clearly independent. She just is driven as hell.”
Schwarzenegger's State Farm ad will air just before the second quarter begins on Sunday as the Chiefs and the 49ers face off in Super Bowl LVIII, airing on CBS at 6:30 p.m. ET.
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