Schwarzenegger Fathered Child with Staffer
Prompted Wife Maria to Leave Home
In a shocking statement released today, Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 63, has acknowledged that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff, a revelation that apparently prompted wife Maria Shriver, 55, to leave the couple's home before they announced their separation last week.
Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver jointly announced May 9th that they were splitting up after 25 years of marriage. Yet, Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion earlier in the year after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the child is his. The child was born before Schwarzenegger began his seven years in public office.
"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger told the Los Angeles Times in a statement that also was sent to The Associated Press early today. "I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.”
"I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time," the statement concluded. "While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."
Schwarzenegger's representatives did not comment further. A spokesman for the former first lady told the Times she had no comment. The Times did not publish the former staffer's name or that of her child but said the woman, who retired in January, had worked for the family for 20 years.
In an interview Monday before Schwarzenegger issued his statement, the former staffer said another man, her husband at the time, was the child's father. When the Times later informed the woman of the governor's statement, she declined to comment further.
Shriver stood by her husband during his 2003 gubernatorial campaign after the Los Angeles Times reported accusations that he had a history of groping women. Schwarzenegger later said he "behaved badly sometimes."
In his first public comments since the couple announced their breakup, Schwarzenegger said last week that he and Shriver "both love each other very much."
On Friday, the former First Lady of California wrote to her Twitter fans: "Thank you for all the kindness, support and compassion . . . I am humbled by the love. Thank you."
But the pain is not just Maria's. The Schwarzeneggers have four children who range in age from 13 to 21.
Since his term as California governor ended in early January, Schwarzenegger has hopscotched around the world, his wife nowhere in sight. While the "Terminator" star appeared confident about the future since exiting politics, cutting movie deals and establishing himself as a global spokesman for green energy, Shriver, known for her confidence, seemed unsettled.
We now know why.