“Unforgivable”: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Ex-wife Maria Shriver’s Close Friend Blamed Him for Concealing Extra-Marital Affair During Her Rough Times

Published 08/01/2022, 12:00 PM EDT

Bodybuilding legend Arnold Schwarzenegger had been married to Maria Shriver, a member of the Kennedy family, for 25 years. They had four kids together, and Shriver stayed by his side through Schwarzenegger’s seven years as the governor of California.

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They split in 2011 after the bodybuilder’s extramarital affair with their then-housekeeper Mildred Baena came to light. Schwarzenegger had fathered a child, Joseph Baena, out of wedlock. Their divorce recently got finalized in December 2021.

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Maria Shriver’s friend shed light on her pain

In an exclusive interview with TODAY in 2011, an undisclosed friend and colleague of Maria Shriver’s shared insights into their divorce. “He completely betrayed Maria. And I’ll tell you what hurt her the most…” they claimed

According to the source, the betrayal became more pronounced when she realized that Schwarzenegger had been hiding his infidelity during rough times in Shriver’s life. “Do you realize,” asked the Shriver pal and confidante, “that this means when Arnold was standing by her side through mother’s death—and then her father’s death—he was concealing this [affair and love child] from her, too?”

Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger during The 3rd Annual World Stunt Awards – Arrivals at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)

Shriver’s mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, passed away in 2009, and her father, Sargent Shriver, died earlier in 2011. Shriver’s friend claimed that the idea of the bodybuilder’s compassion and support during the tough times being phony had been truly unforgivable.

“And to have lied to her through that difficult time, to have just gone through the motions like that,” explained the Shriver source, “is unforgivable. She was very upset over that. My God, she still is.” In the years since, Arnold Schwarzenegger has also opened up about the divorce, taking full responsibility for his actions.

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The seven-time Mr. Olympia champion divulged his perspective on the divorce to CNN in 2012. He called the affair with his housekeeper “just about the stupidest thing that any human being can do.” He revealed that he deeply regretted his actions.

The divorce became one of the lowest points in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s life. “All of a sudden, from one day to the next, the personal life totally crashed, and I wiped out everything, you know, that I had,” he explained. 

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He revealed that he prided himself on his family. And while he took accountability for his mistake, losing family had been difficult for him. “I mean, the thing that I cherished the most was my personal life, was my marriage, and was my family. I always thought that it was one of my greatest accomplishments,” Schwarzenegger said.

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Mansi Jain

367 articles

Mansi Jain is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has a Bachelor's degree in Multimedia and Mass Communication from the University of Delhi and has also previously interned for HT Media. She is always one mention of Yuzuru Hanyu away from delivering an hour-long speech about the athlete's legacy.

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