Schwarzenegger fathered child outside marriage

Tue May 17, 2011 3:07pm EDT
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By Steve Gorman and Peter Henderson

LOS ANGELES/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, newly estranged from his wife of 25 years and seeking to resume his Hollywood career, has acknowledged fathering a child more than a decade ago with a member of his household staff.

The revelation came a week after Schwarzenegger, the Austrian-born former bodybuilder turned film star, and his wife, Maria Shriver, a broadcast journalist and member of the Kennedy dynasty, jointly announced their marital split.

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said in replying to the Times. A Schwarzenegger spokesman later gave a copy of the statement to Reuters.

"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," Schwarzenegger, 63, said in the statement.

Shriver, 55, in a statement to People magazine released on Tuesday, asked for compassion and privacy.

"This is a painful and heartbreaking time," she 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."

As one of the most high-profile but improbable couples in American public life -- a powerful Republican politician and a stalwart Democrat -- the pair endured years of persistent allegations about Schwarzenegger's extramarital dalliances and sexual misconduct.


<p>California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger claps next to his wife Maria Shriver after being sworn in for a second term as governor during his inauguration ceremony Sacramento, California, January 5, 2007. REUTERS/Kimberly White</p>