LOS ANGELES (CBS/AP) — Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver separated after she learned he fathered a child with a longtime member of their household staff.
The Los Angeles Times reported Shriver moved out of the family’s Brentwood mansion earlier this year, after Schwarzenegger admitted fathering the child.
“After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event which occurred over a decade ago,” Schwarzenegger said Monday night in a statement issued to The Times in response to questions.
“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.”
Hours later, Shriver also released a statement: “This is a painful and heartbreaking time. 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.”
KCAL/CBS2 political reporter Dave Bryan told KNX 1070 there had been signs of Schwarzenegger’s infidelity before, but most had presumed the allegations was simply politically motivated.
“You look back on those stories that came out just before the recall election, about the groping charges involving multiple women,” Bryan said. “Nobody took that seriously at the time.”
The name of the former staffer and child was not released to protect their privacy, The Times said. In an interview Monday before Schwarzenegger issued his statement, the former staffer said her then-husband was the child’s father.
Schwarzenegger provided continual financial support for the child, according to The Times.
The staffer told The Times that she voluntarily left her position with the couple earlier this year after reaching her longstanding goal of working for them for two decades.
“I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire,” she told The Times.
The woman told The Times that she received a severance payment and “left on good terms” with Schwarzenegger and Shriver.
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