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'I was letting people down': Arnold Schwarzenegger on the affair that cost his marriage

24 SEPTEMBER 2012

Arnold Schwarzenegger has discussed details of his affair with his former housekeeper.

In 2011, the world was left shocked when it was revealed the screen veteran had a 13-year-old child with domestic aide Mildred Baena – a woman who worked alongside him and his wife Maria Shriver for many years.

Arnold now sheds light on his actions in his tell-all book, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story.

 

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In excerpts obtained by the New York Daily News, he reveals how Maria – now divorced from the star – confronted him with her suspicions in a couples' counseling session.

The Terminator actor wrote: "The minute we sat down, the therapist turned to me and said 'Maria wanted to come here today and to ask about a child – whether you fathered a child with your housekeeper Mildred.' I told the therapist 'It's true'."

Following the confrontation, Arnold says he offered his wife three "lame" reasons why he hid the child, named Joseph, from her. 

He cites embarrassment, a compulsion for secrecy and fear of a backlash from the powerful Kennedy family, which, as JFK's niece, Maria was a member of, as justifications.

 

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In the memoir, California's ex-Governor says he kept the housekeeper in her job to "control the situation," even though her presence raised suspicions from his wife, who asked him about Joseph's parentage and was met with denials. 

"I blocked out the fact that as a husband and father, as a man with a family and wife, I was letting people down," Arnold added.

The revelations follow Mildred Baena's own disclosure exclusively to HELLO!.

Guatemalan-born Mildred found herself in a maelstrom of speculation when her relationship with Arnold came to light in 2011.

Setting the record straight, she told HELLO!: "I knew Arnold was the father, and maybe as Joseph got older and began to look like him, he [Arnold] wondered. But he never said anything to me," 

Mildred described the actor as "a good man" and said he would have been "suffering" in the wake of the revelations. 

She also described Maria Shriver's compassionate reaction to the scandal.

"She was so strong. She cried with me and told me to get off my knees. We held each other and I told her it wasn't Arnie's fault, that it takes two," she said.  

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