Arnold Schwarzenegger’s long list of past indiscretions — including the recent revelation that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff — shouldn’t be any of our business. As long as he didn’t break the law, nobody beyond his immediate family should be concerned with his private affairs. But is it too much to ask that Schwarzenegger, and other politicians who have found themselves caught up in messy family situations, extend to all Americans what they say they want for themselves: to not have others meddle in their private lives? I am still angry at Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not because he hid a personal secret from the public and from his own family, but because he did so while working to deny thousands of California citizens the right to have legal families at all. Sure, Schwarzenegger was not one of those politicians who regularly use inflammatory anti-gay rhetoric, but nobody in state office has done more to hold back marriage equality for more people. Despite Schwarzenegger’s often gay-friendly tone, he is the only governor ever to have vetoed marriage equality legislation twice…twice! Now, Schwarzenegger wants to be known for his refusal to defend the discriminatory Proposition 8 in court. But while he was in office, he had the chance to do the right thing and failed…twice. This is what Americans should remember about Schwarzenegger’s gay rights record. A friendly tone doesn’t mean a thing when it’s paired with hateful policies.
Schwarzenegger, despite his purported unwillingness to join the ranks of the fire breathing gay-bashing Right, has placed himself with the likes of John Ensign and Newt Gingrich on the long and growing list of GOP officials who accused gay people of ruining the institution of marriage while they themselves flouted their wedding vows.
No politician, however squeaky clean his or her personal record is, should be in the business of telling grown adults who they can love and marry, or demonizing people who are trying to achieve the financial and emotional security of marriage. But the people who make my blood boil are those who accuse gay people of harming the institutions of marriage and the family while causing real harm to their own marriages and families. These men expose the real hypocrisy behind efforts to stop gay equality. They insist that family is a personal matter and beg for privacy in their personal affairs. We should all expect — no, demand — that they extend that belief to their public policy when and where it really matters.
Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff, a revelation that apparently prompted wife Maria Shriver to leave the couple’s home before they announced their separation last week.
Schwarzenegger and Shriver jointly announced May 9 that they were splitting up after 25 years of marriage. Yet, Shriver moved out of the family’s Brentwood mansion earlier in the year after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the child is his, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. “After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago,” Schwarzenegger told the Times in a statement that also was sent to The Associated Press early Tuesday. “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,” the statement concluded. “While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not.”
Schwarzenegger’s representatives did not comment further. A spokesman for the former first lady told the Times she had no comment.
The Times did not publish the former staffer’s name nor that of her child but said the woman worked for the family for 20 years and retired in January.
In an interview Monday before Schwarzenegger issued his statement, the former staffer said another man – her husband at the time – was the child’s father. When the Times later informed the woman of the governor’s statement, she declined to comment further.
The child was born before Schwarzenegger began his seven-year stint in public office.
Shriver stood by her husband during his 2003 gubernatorial campaign after the Los Angeles Times reported accusations that he had a history of groping women. Schwarzenegger later said he “behaved badly sometimes.”
In his first public comments since the couple announced their breakup, Schwarzenegger said last week that he and Shriver “both love each other very much.”
“We are very fortunate that we have four extraordinary children and we’re taking one day at a time,” he said at a Los Angeles event marking Israeli independence. Their children range in age from 13 to 21.
Since his term as California governor ended in early January, Schwarzenegger, 63, has hopscotched around the world, his wife nowhere in sight. While the “Terminator” star appeared confident about the future since exiting politics, cutting movie deals and fashioning himself as a global spokesman for green energy, Shriver, known for her confidence, seemed unsettled.
Shriver, 55, maintained her own identity when her husband entered politics, though she gave up her job at NBC. Their union was often tested in Sacramento, where the former action star contended with a rough seven years of legislative gridlock, a budget crisis and lingering questions about his fidelity.
Mildred Patricia Baena, 50, has been identified as the mother of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s love child,RadarOnline.com reported Tuesday night.
Baena, who goes by Patty, was a housekeeper for the Schwarzenegger family for 20 years before retiring in January.
According to TMZ, the former housekeeper–who lives several hours outside of Los Angeles with Schwarzenegger’s son and her three other children–began to “pursue Arnold” in the late 1990s. She reportedly told friends that she and Schwarzenegger had unprotected sex during the day at his house, though she didn’t tell him that he was the father of her child until the boy was a toddler.
Schwarzenegger announced Monday night that he had fathered a child with a household staffer over a decade ago, before he was elected as California governor.
“After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago,” he said in a statement issued to the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
When questioned by the paper Monday before Schwarzenegger issued his statement, the former household staffer–now revealed to be Baena–said another man was the child’s father. She declined to comment after the Los Angeles Times notified her of Schwarzenegger’s statement.
Shriver, who–with Schwarzenegger–announced the couple’s separation after 25 years of marriage on May 9, issued a statement Tuesday responding to the revelation.
“This is a painful and heartbreaking time,” Shriver said. “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. I will have no further comment.”