May 20, 2011 / 2:32 AM / 6 years ago

Schwarzenegger halts Hollywood return after scandal

<p>Neighborhood children talk to a television news crew as they prepare to report in front of the home of Mildred Patricia Baena, in Bakersfield, California, May 18, 2011.David McNew</p>

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Arnold Schwarzenegger on Thursday put his Hollywood projects on hold following the scandal over a secret child he fathered 13 years ago with his housekeeper.

The 63-year-old former California governor and "Terminator" star has told his agents to halt plans to resume his movie career so that he can deal with "personal matters", according to a statement.

"Governor Schwarzenegger is focusing on personal matters and is not willing to commit to any production schedules or timelines. This includes 'Cry Macho,' the 'Terminator' franchise and other projects under consideration. We will resume discussions when Governor Schwarzenegger decides," said a statement issued by his spokesman.

Schwarzenegger has been scorned and ridiculed since revealing on Monday that he had a child out of wedlock who he kept secret from his wife, Maria Shriver, and their four children.

Schwarzenegger, who ended his second term as California governor in January, had been due to star in a proposed new "Terminator" movie and was to start shooting the drama "Cry Macho" in late August.

He had also announced plans to voice the central character in an animated TV series called "The Governator".

The comic book style series had Schwarzenegger starring as a devoted family man who lives a double life as a superhero and has a lair under his home that not even his wife and children are aware of.

Producers decided late on Thursday to stop work on that project. "In light of recent events, A Squared Entertainment, POW, Stan Lee Comics, and Archie Comics, have halted production" on the 'Governator', they said in a statement.

The news of Schwarzenegger's out of wedlock son, now 13, with his family's housekeeper has seen him dubbed "The Sperminator".

Schwarzenegger and Shriver, a member of the Kennedy political family and a former TV journalist, announced last week that they had separated earlier this year after 25 years of marriage.

Shriver is reported to have hired a high profile divorce lawyer but has made no official moves to end the union.

Hollywood producers said earlier this week they did not think the scandal would affect Schwarzenegger's plans to resume his acting career after seven years in politics.

Reporting by Jill Serjeant, editing by Dan Whitcomb

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