Although Arnold Schwarzenegger’s memoir doesn’t hit stores until Monday, tantalizing details about its contents have been making their way online. Many of them concern his high-profile divorce from Maria Shriver, who left the former California governor after learning he had fathered a child with a family housekeeper.
There are also revelations covering his entrée into politics as well as his hopes for reconciling with Shriver. Here’s what we know about Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.
1. There were multiple affairs.
In a 60 Minutes interview airing Sunday, Schwarzenegger calls cheating on his wife with his family’s housekeeper, Mildred Baena, the “stupidest thing” he’s done. But that wasn’t his first time being unfaithful.
The book also details a “hot affair” with Brigitte Nielsen, his costar in the 1985 film Red Sonja. The actor was romantically involved with–though not married to–Shriver at the time. He writes his “fling” with Nielsen helped him realize he wanted to wed Shriver, the AP reports. Nielsen went on to marry Sylvester Stallone, and wrote in a memoir of her own, published last year, she did not know Schwarzenegger was serious was Shriver at the time of their affair.
2. Schwarzenegger was in denial about son’s paternity.
The actor writes he fathered his son, Joseph, with Baenain in 1996 while his wife and children were away on vacation. After Joseph was born, Schwarzenegger tried to convince himself Baena’s husband was the boy’s father. As Joseph got older, it became apparent that resembled the actor.
“I realized there was little doubt that he was my son,” Schwarzengger writes.
3. Shriver confronted her husband the day after he left office.
Unbeknownst to Schwarzenegger, Shriver has her suspicions about the affair and scheduled a couple’s therapy session for Jan. 4, 2011, the day after he left the governor’s mansion for good.
“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,” the actor writes. “I told the therapist, ‘It’s true.'”
4. Schwarzenegger begged his wife for forgiveness.
At that same couple’s therapy session, the actor writes he groveled for forgiveness, saying he “screwed up.” He insisted Shriver was the “perfect wife” and he was still “turned on” by her.
5. The actor still hopes to reconcile with Shriver.
Though now divorced, Schwarzenegger remains optimistic he and Shriver will reconcile
“You can call this denial,” he writes, “but it’s the way my mind works.”
6. Eunice Shriver convinced her daughter to let Schwarzenegger pursue politics.
Back in 2003, Shriver was not a fan of her husband seeking higher office, predicting it would be bad for their family. Her mother, JFK’s sister Eunice Shriver, said that in their family, the women supported the men’s ambitions. Eunice Shriver told her daughter Schwarzenegger would be “angry for the rest of his life” if she stifled his political ambitions. Shriver changed her position on Schwarzenegger’s possible run for California governor, and soon after he announced his intention to run on the Tonight Show.
7. Karl Rove didn’t believe the actor would be governor.
During a 2003 White House visit GOP strategist Karl Rove told Schwarzenegger the recall election (in which the actor ultimately ousted then Governor Gray Davis) would not happen, and that Condoleezza Rice was his pick to run for 2006.
“How could Rove have been so wrong?” the actor writes.
Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story hits stores Oct. 1.