Schwarzenegger: I fathered a secret child

Schwarzenegger: I fathered a secret child

POSTED: Tuesday, May 17, 2011 - 2:17pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 27, 2011 - 8:23pm

Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff, a revelation that apparently prompted wife Maria Shriver to leave the couple's home before they announced their separation last week.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver jointly announced May 9 that they were splitting up after 25 years of marriage. Yet, Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion earlier in the year after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the child is his, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

"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.

"I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time," the statement concluded. "While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."

Schwarzenegger's representatives did not comment further.

NBC News reported Tuesday that California's former first lady issued 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."

Their son, Patrick, 17,broke silence Tuesday, Tweeting, "Some days you feel like s---, some days you want to quit and just be normal for a bit, yet I love my family till death do us apart. #family."

.When parents Schwarzenegger and Shriver first announced their separation last week, Patrick on Twitter called it a "Small speed bump I'n life, luckily we own hummers, we will cruise right over it. All will be okay. #peace."

The Times did not publish the former staffer's name but said the woman worked for the family for 20 years and retired in January.

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