Arnie had love child with aide
Published 18/05/2011 | 05:00
Arnold Schwarzenegger has admitted fathering an illegitimate child with a member of his household staff and keeping it secret for more than a decade.
His wife Maria Shriver only recently discovered the child's true parentage -- that was the real reason for the couple's announcement last week that they were separating after 25 years of marriage.
The child was born before Mr Schwarzenegger first ran for the governorship of California in 2003, and the mother continued working for the couple throughout his time in office.
The woman, who has not been named, worked for them for 20 years and retired in January this year, at about the same time as Mr Schwarzenegger finished his second term.
The 63-year-old Hollywood action star said he told his wife about the child soon after leaving office.
Ms Shriver (55), who is said to have been "completely distraught" when she learned of the child, then left their mansion in Brentwood, Los Angeles, and moved into a Beverly Hills hotel.
Friends of Mr Schwarzenegger said he had always taken financial responsibility for the child.
Rumours that he had fathered a child out of wedlock had been circulating for days and he confirmed it after inquiries by the 'Los Angeles Times'.
Mr Schwarzenegger said: "After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago. 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 apologised to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry."
He asked for his family to be left alone in an "extremely difficult time".
The couple have four children -- Katherine (21), Christina (19), Patrick (17) and Christopher (13).
In a statement Ms Shriver said: "This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal."
The former employee was married when the child was born. In recent days she had maintained that the father was her then husband.
Ms Shriver -- the niece of former US President John F Kennedy -- was said to have already been unhappy in the marriage but that she had struggled against ending it because of her Roman Catholic faith.