Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child from an affair with his housekeeper ended his marriage of over three decades.
Once upon a time in Hollywood, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s marriage to his wife Maria Shriver and family life were a model for many people in the entertainment industry. While Arnold was a legend for his bodybuilding, movie, and political career, Maria came from the family of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy.
Her father, Sargent Shriver, was a founding director of the Peace Corps and the running mate of Democratic candidate George McGovern in the 1972 elections. Maria also worked her way up the journalism ladder, becoming a news correspondent for CBS before moving to NBC. The power couple first met in 1977 during the Robert F. Kennedy Pro-Celebrity Tennis tournament. Arnold and Maria quickly developed feeling for one another after going on a couple of dates. The two would tie the knot on April 26, 1986, at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
Three years later, they became parents for the first time with the birth of their daughter Katherine Schwarzenegger on December 13, 1989. They welcomed three more kids: Christina in July 1991, Patrick in September 1993, and Christopher in September 1997.
Arnold and Maria’s relationship blossomed through the 90s, leading to his election as Governor of California after the state’s 2003 recall election. However, beneath the surface was a secret that would blow the entire family apart in the coming years.
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Affair
At a point in 1996, Arnold was working on the movie “Batman and Robin” and couldn’t follow his wife and kids on their vacation trip. So instead, the actor stayed at the couple’s Pacific Palisades, California mansion. During this period, Arnold slept with their housekeeper Mildred Baena in the guesthouse of their mansion.
Although the duo kept it a secret, Mildred became pregnant shortly afterward. However, when she gave birth to a son called Joseph, she named her husband the father. Arnold knew there was a probability that the kid was his, but he silently hoped not because he knew what the consequences would be.
Unfortunately for the actor, Joseph’s resemblance to Arnold became more defining as the kid grew. As a result, it became more difficult for the actor to keep denying and eventually had to accept the kid was his son. Still, Arnold kept Mildred as the family’s housekeeper and even started supporting her financially when her husband left. During this period, Maria confronted her husband about the paternity of Joseph; however, Arnold denied responsibility.
Arnold and Maria’s Marriage Ends
For over a decade, Maria stayed with Arnold even though she knew about his affair with Mildred. Then, in 2003 when news about Arnold’s infidelity dominated headlines, Maria was one of the people who defended him, saying:
“I am my own woman, I have not been, quote, “bred,” to look the other way.”
However, the facade came crashing in 2011, just one day after Arnold ended his term as Governor of California. Maria invited her husband to a surprise counseling session where the therapist queried if he had fathered a child with his housekeeper Baena.
After several years Arnold couldn’t hide it anymore and admitted he had cheated on his wife and wa the biological father of Joseph. According to what the actor wrote in his 2012 biography, “Total Recall,” :
“The minute we sat down, the therapist turned to me and said, ‘Maria wanted to come here today and to ask about a child — whether you fathered a child with your housekeeper Mildred. I told the therapist, ‘It’s true.’”
He subsequently pleaded for Maria’s forgiveness and asked if there was anything he could do to make amends. However, Maria couldn’t forgive Arnold’s betrayal and subsequently separated from the actor before filing for divorce.
Arnold Regretted His Affair
In 2012, during an appearance on Sunday night’s “60 minutes” on CBS to promote his book, Arnold touched on his marriage to Maria and how it ended. The “Terminator” actor speaking to correspondent Lesley Sthal declared:
“I think it was the stupidest thing I’ve done in the whole relationship. It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids.”
Arnold explained that even though he wrote about the entire affair and his regret in the book, Maria had not read the book. The actor also explained he didn’t want to keep that ugly part of his life hidden because his biography wouldn’t be about his success alone.
Instead, he wanted to talk about his failures since the book reflected his whole life. Meanwhile, Arnold spoke of his belief that he and Maria would get back together one day. Although it seems unlikely, it is difficult to fault Arnold’s hope of forgiveness and reunion.