Schwarzenegger Acknowledges Paternity of Child Born “Over a Decade Ago”

|

The L.A. Times reports that former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged paternity of a child born to a staff member for his family. From Schwarzenegger's statement:

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said Monday night in a statement issued to The Times in response to questions. "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."

The Times did not name the staff member but quotes her:

She said she voluntarily left her position with the couple earlier this year after reaching a longstanding goal of working for them for two decades. "I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire," she said, adding she received a severance payment and "left on good terms with them."

The Times recaps the timeline of the announcement of the Schwarzenegger-Shriver split:

Schwarzenegger took financial responsibility for the child from the start and continued to provide support, according to a source who declined to be identified because of the former governor's request for privacy.

The former first couple of California announced their separation in a joint statement issued last week. The two have been married 25 years. There was no mention of a cause for the separation.

More here.

As a long-time Arnold watcher, this sort of revelation is not exactly surprising. In his bodybuilding heyday, he had long been known for raucous behavior and Spy magazine did a long piece years ago on his activity on Hollywood sets.

While this story doesn't raise the same sort of legal issues as the charges against Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the International Monetary Fund head accused of rape, it does raise questions about the intersection of private life and public office. As the Times notes in passing, Maria Shriver was a particularly visible and active First Lady of California and her dismissal of sexual harassment charges by more than a dozen women against her husband played a pivotal role in keeping his candidacy on track. Would she have done so had she known about his love child? Would she have still been married to him, thus helping him politically?

I think anyone's heart goes out especially to the kids involved (adults, all things being equal, can deal with things). But this story raises questions about politicians' personal lives–especially when they use their family members as stage props in their campaigns. It isn't right that a politician necessarily be held politically accountable for whether or not his or her kids turn out OK or even better than OK. But when drug warriors such as Al Gore make sure that their kids' drug problems are kept out of the papers, or when characters such as Newt Gingrich run on hyper-moralistic platforms that conflate personal values and political ones, someone needs to call bullshit. I don't think that Schwarzenegger having fathered an out-of-wedlock child means he was necessarily a bad governor, any more than Rep. Dan Burton's (R-Ind.) policy legacy rests upon his personal life, but I do think politicians of all persuasions would do well to stop using their families and private lives as props in public. It doesn't merely invite scrutiny, it demands it. Which in the end may have little to say about whether an elected official is going to be good or bad for a particular office.

Related: "The Case of the Disappearing Political Wife: Two Cheers for the Invisible Mrs. Dean."

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

68 responses to “Schwarzenegger Acknowledges Paternity of Child Born “Over a Decade Ago”

  1. I hate to think of that a ten year old will be called anything other than a epi.
    These kids are reading! Even in California ;-(

  2. But when drug warriors such as Al Gore make sure that their kids’ drug problems are kept out of the papers, or when characters such as Newt Gingrich run on hyper-moralistic platforms and conflate personal values and political ones, someone needs to call bullshit.

    Hey, don’t shoot the messenger!

    1. When I made mistakes as a young kid, I deserved a second chance. When your kids make a mistake, we need lock the little gutter snipes up for a LOOONG TIME. Alright?

  3. but it was consensual… Maria, you can’t be mad at me!

  4. too bad about maria’s face & her emaciated bod…i mean, i hope the best for the gropenfurher’s family!

  5. Is this TMZ?

    1. No, at Hit&Run; transponders are optional.

  6. Was Bristol Palin the mother?

      1. I demand to see the results of the blood tests!

        1. Who is your daddy, and what does he do?

  7. Man, I gotta go into politics. Those guys get ALL the tail.

    1. I ran for state office as a Libertarian. Absolutely no chance of winning. Out of the blue, women, some liberals who disagreed with all my political views, some who barely spike to me before started throwing themselves at me. I suddenly realized why a lot of guys go into politics — the aura of social power and status does something to women at some primal level.

      1. I wonder if the same applies to chicks running for office? If I ran for something, I wonder if a whole bunch of burly bald men would suddenly come out of teh woodwork?

        1. I’m a burly bald man……

          1. You don’t want his woodwork to come out.

  8. I am sure the whole idea of spousal infidelity would be so foreign to a Shriver that this came as quite a shock to Maria.

    1. I see what you did there.

      1. I wrote about Doing A kennedy
        http://rctlfy.wordpress.com/20…..a-kennedy/

  9. I’m pretty sure they covered this in a 90s documentary:

    http://petegraham.files.wordpr…..eggers.png

  10. This week’s friday funny is already written:

    Other Woman “Arnold, when will you visit our son?”

    “Ah’ll be bahck.”

    1. I ain’t got time to breed. (Not his quote, but so what?)

    2. Maria in the background with a single tear.

  11. Also, what’s the deal with this: She said she voluntarily left her position with the couple earlier this year after reaching a longstanding goal of working for them for two decades. “I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire,”

    I have personal goals too: learn to play guitar, lose a couple pounds, but caring for the illegitimae child of my boss for over a decade didn’t make the bucket list.

    1. retirement package that produced a steady income

  12. This is screaming for one-liner puns:

    “Consider that a divorce”

    “I Screw YOOOOUUUUUUU!!!”

    “It’s not a rumoooorrrr”

    1. “Get to the Poppa!”

    2. “I cannot self-terminate.”

      “Come with me if you want a job.”

  13. This is stupid. If I wanted to read this shit, I’d go to peoplemagazine.com

    1. Then don’t read it.

  14. “Maria, my mighty heart is breaking. I’ll be in the Humvee.”

  15. “Remember when I said I would impregnate you last? I lied.”

  16. “It feels fantastic. It’s as satisfying to me as coming is, you know? As having sex with a woman and coming. And so can you believe how much I am in heaven? I am getting the feeling of coming in a gym, I’m getting the feeling of coming at home, I’m getting the feeling of coming backstage when I pump up, when I pose in front of 5,000 people, I get the same feeling, so I am coming day and night.”

    1. Now you will be going

  17. I definitely have to stand back and golf clap the GIANT BRASS BALLS demonstrated by Arnold here.

    He really is an Action Hero.

    If you are a scared girlie man like John Edwards, you hide your pregnant mistress in a house you buy for her and cry yourself to sleep at night hoping your wife never hears about it.

    If you are Arnold, you leave your knocked-up mistress RIGHT IN YOUR HOUSE and take your wife to the mall to buy her a baby shower gift.

    No fear. I am impressed.

    1. does the kid look like his others? How the fuck do you not notice?

      1. I know! The denial must be strong in her. Or maybe it is just the desire for power and status.

  18. These stories come in threes.
    Next up: Judd Hirsch’s Heartbreak.

  19. Did Arnold have butt-sex with the employee? Just curious.

    1. Well know only when the child grows up and takes the LSAT

      1. Butt-sex has no place in the socialist future. It is but a product of the capitalist structure.

  20. What reason is there to believe Maria didn’t know about this affair or the kid? She already showed her hand as an accomplice to deceit during his first campaign when she used her feminist cred to defend him against obviously true charges of sexual harassment. Does she really deserve the benefit of the doubt in this new (10 year old) case?

    And why is Arnold’s hair orange? And can we now clear the air that he’s nowhere near six feet tall? I’ve stood right next to him, and he’s 5’9″, tops.

    1. Not according to The Education of a Bodybuilder nor official Mr. Olympia records nor countless articles in Muscle & Fitness.

      According to the above, the Autrian Oak is 6″2. Also, check out Pumping Iron. Look at how Arnold towers over Franco Columbo and Robby Robinson and Mike Mentzer and Danny Padilla. Sure, he is shorter than big Lou Ferigno, but the latter was 6’5.

      1. Like I said, I’ve stood shoulder to shoulder with him. I’m 6’0″. He was several inches shorter.

        It was during the time of his first campaign. He was in Toys R Us in Santa Monica with one of his kids, a few blocks over from 3rd street promenade, a few blocks from his campaign headquarters. Swear to god, the guy is well under 6’0″ – more like around 5’9″.

  21. Everyone seems all shocked and shit that Arnold has his mistress and his love child running around his house for a decade, and his wife never noticed.

    She WAS trained to be a professional journalist, kids. . .do the math.

    1. Maria and Caroline were too busy killing The Kennedys miniseries to worry about the little bastard.

      http://www.hollywoodreporter.c…..lped-69764

  22. Maria’s a Kennedy woman, so no doubt she’s been schooled since childhood in the fine art of wifely doormat-ship and martyrdom; for fuck’s sake, that bunch make it look like a genetic trait, an evolutionary adaptation of sorts.

    1. But they were in love!

    2. If any of the Kennedy women were attractive, I’d get me one.

      That picture tells the whole story.

      1. Kennedy women are breeders. That is their role. Thinking is for the menfolk.

    3. Kennedy women are born with “kick me” signs on their backs. In the hierarchy of male attractiveness which is preferable-drug addled rapists or booze soaked manslaughters?

  23. But when drug warriors such as Al Gore make sure that their kids’ drug problems are kept out of the papers, or when characters such as Newt Gingrich run on hyper-moralistic platforms that conflate personal values and political ones, someone needs to call bullshit.

    In the very least, someone needs to point out (even though it’s blindingly obvious to anybody with any fucking sense) that these assholes have absolutely no standing to tell us how to live. They are not some superior race of philosopher kings imbued with exceptional wisdom. Their lives are at least as fucked up as any of ours.

  24. “You forgot the first rule in a crisis situation…”

    1. You don’t talk about a crisis situation?

      1. You keeping this handle?

        1. Nah. It is a cool one, right? I just thought of it.

          Better snag it before Disney copyrights it.

  25. Oh wow, now the divorce makes sense, dude is a CHEATER! Shame on him!

    http://www.total-anon.us.tc

  26. Okay, I bow before the master. No kidding. He has an affair, fathers a child, then he leaves them RIGHT UNDER HIS WIFE’S NOSE! What a pair of giant balls of steel. Or maybe he’s just plain stupid.

    Jay

  27. “Maria, listen to me now, believe me later.”

  28. But this story raises questions about politicians’ personal lives?especially when they use their family members as stage props in their campaigns.

    Doesn’t raise any questions in my mind. Any politician who uses a family member as a campaign stage prop will not get my vote.

  29. This was a political marriage from the get-go. Arnold wanted into politics in CA, so he needed an in with the Dem powerbrokers. The Kennedy clan latched onto a world-class celebrity like a remora on a great white.

    No way would either party to the transaction blow it up while there was still any political juice left. What a coincidence that this all comes out and the marriage ends right after he leaves office, no?

    1. RC, check out the timeline. Arnold first met Maria in 1977. He was not a “world class celebrity” in 1977. Sure, he was five time Mr. Olympia and Pumping Iron had been released, but, in 1977, he was not an A list celeb.

  30. So, he fathered this kid a decade ago and it has just now gone public? Can’t believe this wasn’t dug up by his opponents during his election for governor!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.