Less than a week after Arnold Schwarzenegger announced that he was separating from Maria Shriver, his wife of 25 years, the former California governor and "Terminator" actor Arnold Schwarzenegger told the Los Angeles Times on Monday that he had fathered a child more than a decade ago with a longtime member of the couple's household staff.
His estranged wife moved out of the family's Brentwood, California, mansion earlier this year after Schwarzenegger admitted paternity of the child he fathered before his first run for governor.
"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger revealed in a statement to the paper on Monday. "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 ... 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 did not comment on the revelation and the couple did not announce a reason for their separation last week. The paper did not reveal the name of the child or the housekeeper, who retired earlier this year. During an interview on Monday before Schwarzenegger released his statement, the former staffer claimed that her then-husband had fathered the child. She said she left Schwarzenegger and Shriver's service on good terms earlier this year as part of a pre-planned retirement. The woman did not respond to requests for comment on Schwarzenegger's statement.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the 63-year-old actor took financial responsibility for the child from the beginning and continued to provide support over the years. At the time of the separation announcement, Schwarzenegger made it sound as if the split was temporary and that the couple were working toward reconciliation, but the newspaper reported that Shriver's confidants said it was unlikely and that she had been unhappy in the marriage for years.
When Schwarzenegger first ran for governor in 2003, he was dogged by allegations from more than a dozen women who claimed that the actor had groped them over the years. He denied the stories at first, but then later apologized for his conduct, with Shriver standing by his side and vouching for his integrity. The couple has four children ranging from ages 13 to 21.