Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Shaming of the Governator: Public humiliation of Arnold Schwarzenegger begins after he confesses to fathering love child

With her chestnut hair reduced to an unkempt, tangled mane and her face gaunt and anxious, a clearly agitated Maria Shriver stared down the lens of a video camera.

Declaring herself ‘in transition’, the former First Lady of California and scion of the Kennedy family spoke of her anguish at ‘not knowing what to do next’.

The uncharacteristic display of vulnerability appeared on YouTube in March, yet it was not until earlier this month — when Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger, her husband of 25 years, announced their separation — that it was finally put in context.

Shocking secret: Maria Shriver is pictured a month ago without her wedding ring after her husband's affairs came to light. However it is only now that the truth that he fathered a lovechild ten years ago been revealed

Now the disturbing footage, in which she appears without her wedding ring, has been accorded even greater resonance as it emerges that Shriver had just discovered a shocking secret about her husband.

Yesterday, an unusually contrite Schwarzenegger, who has long been suspected of philandering, admitted he had fathered a love child ten years ago while married to Maria.

The 63-year-old, who is believed to have provided for the child, said: ‘I have apologised to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.’

Saying he understood and deserved the ‘feelings of anger and disappointment’ among his friends and family, he added: ‘There are no excuses, and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused.’

In a plea to the media, he added: ‘I ask that you respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not.’

To compound matters further, the child’s mother was a longterm member of the household staff at their Brentwood mansion in Los Angeles — a cherished home which had been Maria’s sanctuary from the ever-present rumours about her husband’s infidelity. (The woman retired from her post in January after 20 years’ service.)

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver have had four children together, but, alongside the lovechild, a biographer has claimed he may have fathered others

Before Schwarzenegger’s shocking admission, it was believed that the woman, who has not been named, conceived the child with her then husband. She said she got a severance payment after voluntarily leaving her job ‘on good terms’.

‘I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire,’ she added.

'This is a painful and heartbreaking time. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal.'

When confronted about the scandal, she initially told the Los Angeles Times that her then husband was the child’s father. She refused to comment any further after being told of the former Terminator actor’s confession.

In her first public comment last night, 55-year-old Ms Shriver said: ‘This is a painful and heartbreaking time. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal.’

Throughout the unlikely union of the Kennedy princess and the Austrian bodybuilder-turned-Republican politician, Maria, the daughter of the late President Kennedy’s sister Eunice, was no stranger to the extra-marital liaisons of men in power, and chose (publicly at least) to ignore The Terminator’s reputation.

Arnold shows off his star on the Hollywood walk of fame in 1987 - alongside his wife who was a famous news anchor at the time

But like many before her — including Mick Jagger’s ex Jerry Hall and Elizabeth Edwards, late wife of Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards — she could not forgive her husband for having a child with another woman. When Schwarzenegger finally told her, in January, of the child’s existence, Maria could no longer maintain the impression of unity. Those close to the pair have known for a while just how precarious their partnership was.

According to the American showbusiness biographer Ian Halperin — who has been dubbed ‘Hollywood’s Nostradamus’ for his uncanny ability to predict celebrity events, including the death of Michael Jackson — the partnership had been foundering for seven years, as Maria tired not only of her husband’s roving eye but also of his terrible temper.
Seven months ago, Halperin predicted on U.S. radio that the pair would announce their split within the year, and this week’s confirmation has come as little surprise to those who know them best. Friends of the couple told Halperin how, for more than two years, they have battled to preserve their union, seeking marriage guidance counselling on four separate occasions.
During these heart-to-hearts, sometimes held in the couple’s garden or on the beach, Schwarzenegger is believed to have laid bare the extent of his womanising. According to one of Maria’s circle, who described her as ‘severely depressed and emotionally overwrought’, she ‘found it very hard to stomach.
‘I don’t think she will ever get over what Arnold did behind her back. Even if they reunite, she’ll always be afraid he’ll return to his bad old ways.’
This week Halperin told me how on one occasion Schwarzenegger’s former Twins co-star, comic Danny De Vito, who is a family friend, pleaded with him to try to save the marriage.
Last night, the biographer said of the latest revelation: ‘This is just the tip of the iceberg. I think a lot more will come out of the woodwork. There are even rumours of other children, but I’ve never been able to corroborate that.’
The couple were married at the Kennedy family compound in Hyannis Port in 1986, but even before then Maria was aware of her groom’s penchant for female company. She is said to have known of at least two girlfriends with whom she ‘overlapped’ during their nine-year courtship. Maria alluded to Schwarzenegger’s shortcomings in the introduction to a book she wrote in 2000, entitled Ten Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Out Into The Real World. ‘I would have to have been deaf, blind and incredibly stupid not to see that he was more than a handful,’ she wrote.
Shortly after — first in 2001, then two years later on the eve of Schwarzenegger’s first successful bid for the Governorship of California — a list of damning allegations of sexual misconduct came to light. Six women, including British television presenter Anna Richardson, said that he had ‘groped’ them.
Despite a partial admission, Schwarzenegger survived the fallout and was elected 38th Governor of California. A re-election in 2006 saw him win a second term.
Throughout his tenure, Maria played the part of dutiful political wife. But when Schwarzenegger’s second term ended in January, just as Maria’s beloved father Sargent Shriver, founder of the Peace Corps volunteers, died after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, the need for her to ‘keep up appearances’ receded.

Keeping up appearances: Arnold and Maria kiss following his election victory in 2006 but by the time he lost in 2011 the need for her to play along as the happy wife had ended
As part of a family of devout Roman Catholics (her parents attended Mass every day and it is widely believed she was a virgin when she married), Maria could never have countenanced divorce while her parents were alive. But with both dead and her husband no longer in need of a political spouse, Maria was able to face the truth about her crumbling marriage.
The couple had reportedly been leading virtually separate lives for much of Schwarzenegger’s governorship.
They never moved as a couple to Sacramento, the state capital, when Schwarzenegger took office, but stayed there three nights a week at a hotel — apparently in separate rooms. When her husband was re-elected in 2006, Maria moved back to their family home 70 miles away in Brentwood — and insisted her husband commute to his job daily by plane.
With four children to raise (two daughters and two sons, ranging in age from 13 to 21), a busy timetable as state First Lady and a chance to exert some political influence of her own, Maria was initially able to ignore the deep cracks opening up in her marriage.
'This is just the tip of the iceberg. I think a lot more will come out of the woodwork. There are even rumours of other children, but I’ve never been able to corroborate that.'
When her father died, however, she plunged into a black hole of grief. Her husband was no longer in office, but he still devoted precious little time to her or the family, instead embarking on a project to create an animated film of himself, called The Governator.
‘She has been sad for years about how busy he is, and how little time he devotes to her,’ says one friend.
‘When her father died, there was such a void. And when she looked around, she realised her husband could never even think of filling it.’
Now the question being whispered from Hollywood to the Kennedy heartland of Cape Cod is not ‘Where did it all go wrong?’ but ‘How did the marriage last so long?’
Even when Schwarzenegger was first introduced to Maria in 1977, he seemed an unlikely suitor for a member of America’s ‘royal family’.
An Austrian émigré, his passion for bodybuilding had won him the Mr Universe title and earned him a fame he translated into a Hollywood career. He was also a Republican.
Despite his unlikely credentials, he impressed the Democratic Kennedy and Shriver families.
Schwarzenegger had long expressed his desire to ‘marry a Kennedy’ and counted the late President John F Kennedy as his idol. Unfortunately for Maria, one of the things he so admired in JFK was his philandering — firmly believing that his womanising helped relieve stress.

The couple married in 1986 after a nine-year courtship but even then there were suspicions Arnold had been unfaithful due to Maria's wish to remain a virgin until she married
For his own part, he continued to see and sleep with other women for a large part of the couple’s nine-year courtship. Some have speculated that Maria may have tolerated this behaviour as she wished to remain a virgin until she married, but knew she could not expect her older boyfriend to be so chaste.
The pair finally wed in 1986 — though to outsiders Schwarzenegger was definitely ‘marrying up’.
Unusually for a Kennedy woman, Maria was personally ambitious, and determined to pursue her television career as a news anchor. She continued to work when she gave birth to Katherine in 1989, then Christina, Patrick and finally Christopher, although she did at least settle in California.
By the time Schwarzenegger announced his intention to stand for governor of California, her TV career was waning as she devoted more time to her family and she threw herself behind his campaign.
'When her father died, there was such a void. And when she looked around, she realised her husband could never even think of filling it.'
As First Lady of California, she championed women’s rights and disability groups. In a nod to her husband’s political ambition, she even helped engineer a short-lived campaign for a constitutional amendment to allow someone not born in the U.S. to become president — though this week’s startling revelation will have done untold damage to his dream of one day winning the White House.
By 2008, though, not even these activities were enough to distract her from the failings in her marriage. Rumours of his wandering eye continued unabated and he had a somewhat chauvinistic attitude to women, even voicing his dislike of women in trousers — or ‘pants’ as the Americans say.
‘Maria would never wear pants, believe me,’ he had declared in one memorable Playboy interview.
In 2008, just a day after her husband had endorsed Republican John McCain, Maria endorsed Barack Obama at a rally in Los Angeles, making a barely disguised dig at her husband — and dressed in trousers.
Praising Michelle Obama she said: ‘I know all too well what it’s like when someone in your family gets up and says: “I’m running for office.” You may have had other plans, you may have had another job, but, guess what, “I’m running for office”.’

Oath: Arnold Schwarzenegger is joined by his wife Maria Shriver while being sworn into office for a second term as California Governor
By the middle of last year, Maria was even less subtle talking to a Women’s Conference about how, for some people, it was ‘time to leave a relationship that just doesn’t work any more’.
Both dedicated Twitter users, the pair have barely mentioned one another in tweets in recent months. On April 26, the date of their 25th wedding anniversary — and in marked contrast to previous gushing declarations they had made — neither mentioned the significance of the date.
By then, Maria, no doubt repulsed by news of the ultimate betrayal, had already moved into a luxury bungalow at the lavish Beverly Hills Hotel.
The couple made one last public appearance together ten days ago, sharing a Mother’s Day lunch with their children in Santa Monica, but left in separate cars. The following day, they announced their split.
According to Ian Halperin, ‘he cried like a baby’ when the split became official and is desperate to win back his wife. But cynics think his only motivation for a reconciliation is the Kennedy kudos Maria would bring to a prospective Presidential bid.
His famous catchphrase may be ‘I’ll be back’ — but whether Maria thinks their union holds anything worth returning to is another matter.

Support: Schwarzenegger supported John McCain in the 2008 election, but his wife chose Barack Obama in a barely disguised dig at her husband

No comments:

Post a Comment