Following the announcement of his Netflix docuseries ‘Arnold,’ The Terminator himself reflects on the moment he revealed to his wife of his affair with the housekeeper. Arnold Schwarzenegger, 75, and Maria Shriver, 67, were married for 35 years with their divorce being finalized in December 2021. Shriver filed for divorce in 2011 after Schwarzenegger confirmed damning allegations regarding his fidelity in their marriage.
The truth came out during a 2011 counseling session between the couple where Shriver confronted Schwarzenegger about the possibility of him fathering the child of their housekeeper’s son, Joseph Baena.
Baena’s mother, Mildred, worked for Schwarzenegger and Shriver. The affair was rumored to begin when Schwarzenegger stayed behind to film a movie while his family went on vacation. At first, Schwarzenegger was convinced the child belonged to Baena’s husband but as Joseph got older it became more and more apparent that he had Schwarzenegger’s blood in him.
In his docuseries, Schwarzenegger expressed his regret for the actions and the implications it had on his family. “I think that I have caused enough pain for my family because of my f— up. Everyone had to suffer. Maria had to suffer. The kids had to suffer. Joseph. His mother. Everyone,” he said.
“I am going to have to live with it the rest of my life,” said Schwarzenegger in Arnold. “People will remember my successes and they will also remember my failures. This is a major failure. I had failures in the past in my career, but this is a whole different ball game, dimension of failure.”
Despite his infidelity, he and Shriver were able to work together in raising their four children together. Schwarzenegger joked that if there were Oscars for handling divorce, he and his ex-wife would win for having the least impact on their children.
In February earlier this year, Shriver went on to speak with Hoba Kotb on Kotb’s podcast where Shriver told Kotb that after she filed for divorce she went to a convent to seek advice. Shriver shared some advice given to her by the convent’s Reverend Mother.
“I felt like I was in a scene out of The Sound of Music,” she added. “She said, ‘You can’t come live here, but you do have permission to go out and become Maria.’ I was like, sobbing. I was like, ‘Who is that?’”
“I think the word permission… I had never given myself permission to feel, to be vulnerable, to be weak, to be brought to my knees, and the world did it to me,” Shriver said. “And then I was like, ‘Okay, God, let’s go. I’m gonna take this and learn everything I can about my role and what I need to learn.’ ”