Follow Up of the Day: California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a longtime household staffer who retired this January after being with the family for 20 years, according to the LA Times. Acknowledgment of the affair is what ultimately led to the separation between Schwarzenegger and his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver.
“After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “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.”
Schwarzenegger goes on to say that, while he accepts his deserved attention and criticism from the media, he asks that the privacy of his wife and children be respected. A spokesman for Shriver had no comment on the matter.
The Times spoke with the staffer, whose identity is being kept private. She initially denied the Schwarzenegger paternity claim, saying her then-husband was the father of her child. Following the statement’s release, the staffer refused to comment further. According to an unnamed source, Schwarzenegger has been financially supporting the child, and continues to do so.
UPDATE: In a terse statement released a short while ago, Maria Shriver says “this is a painful and heartbreaking time,” and asks for “compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal.”