Actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a member of his household staff more than a decade ago, reports the Los Angeles Times. Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, separated after Shriver learned about the child.
The staff member, whose name was withheld by the Times, worked for the family for 20 years and retired in January “on good terms.” She had told the family that her then-huband was the child’s father, though Schwarzengger provided financial support from the start, a source told the Times.
Schwarzenegger said in a statement to the Times, “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 apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.
He concluded, “I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not.”
Shriver has not commented on Schwarzenegger’s admission.
Scwarzenegger and Shriver announced their separation earlier this month. At that time they said of the split, “This has been a time of great personal and professional transition for each of us. After a great deal of thought, reflection, discussion and prayer, we came to this decision together. At this time, we are living apart while we work on the future of our relationship.”
Since leaving office, Schwarzenegger has signed on to star in the drama Cry Macho. His reps at CAA also are shopping a package for a new Terminator sequel. In addition, he has partnered with Stan Lee on a Governator comic and animated series, with plans for a movie as well.
Shriver runs a women’s empowerment website and served as a guest editor on an issue of Oprah Winfrey’s magazine, O.