In a shocking statement released by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the world learned that the action film star fathered a child with a member of his household staff nearly a decade ago. It is believed that the former governor’s admission of paternity will potentially initiate divorce proceedings to end his and his wife’s 25-year marriage.
Schwarzenegger’s wife, Maria Shriver, reportedly moved out of the couple’s mansion after hearing the news. Schwarzenegger said that he understood the anger and disappointment that his wife, children and friends were feeling and that he was going to take full responsibility for his actions. Although formal divorce proceedings have not yet commenced, the couple’s separation was made public last week.
The child at the center of this scandal was born ten years ago, just before Schwarzenegger’s first run for the California governor’s seat. The mother of the child was a member of the couple’s household staff. She reportedly was also married at the time that she conceived the child with the former governor. It is believed that she claimed that her then-husband was the father of the child to keep the affair out of the headlines during Schwarzenegger’s high stakes political campaign.
The staff member recently retired from the Schwarzenegger’s household staff in January after working for the family for 20 years. Sources report that she retired voluntarily, received a generous severance package from the couple and left on good terms. The former governor, who has been paying child support since the child was born, will continue to do so. The mother of the child has declined to comment on the matter.
What is so shocking about this case is not that the affair took place. We have heard of such scandals before, specifically within the political world. What is truly shocking is that the affair and child were kept a secret. If he’s been paying child support over the past 10 years, it seems like someone, like Shriver for example, would have caught on to the truth.
Los Angeles Times: “Schwarzenegger fathered a child with longtime member of household staff,” Mark Z. Barabak and Victoria Kim, 17 May 2011