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In a statement released to The L.A. Times, Arnold Schwarzenegger admits that he fathered a child 10 years ago with a longtime member of his household staff. It was this revelation that made his wife of 25 years, Maria Shriver, finally move out of their home earlier this year.
The former governor of California, 63, is finally ready to acknowledge his paternity of the child. (The name of the household staffer and the child have not been released.) "After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger says. "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."
The split of the power-couple may have shocked outsiders -- but insiders expressed no surprise, knowing that Shriver, 55, had been "miserable" in the marriage for a long time.
No specific reason was given for the split when it was announced on May 9. But speculation was rampant, and rumors flew that it may have been Schwarzenegger's alleged womanizing that drove apart the couple (who have four children together). Now, the speculation can end.
The mother of Schwarzenegger's illegitimate child retired from her employment at the Schwarzenegger home in January, after 20 years of service telling , "I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire," she told The L.A. Times.
The former staffer first insisted to The Times that her child was fathered by her then-husband. But after Schwarzenegger issued his statement on Monday, she declined to comment any further. According to an anonymous inside source, Schwarzenegger provided financial support to the child over the years and continues to do so.
Originally, Schwarzenegger seemed to suggest that his split with Shriver could be temporary, saying, "We both love each other very much."
In yesterday's statement to The Times, Schwarzenegger says, "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."