Arnold Schwarzenegger had to go through a really low point in his life over a decade ago when he came clean to Maria Shriver about the affair he had which produced a child.
As Perezcious readers will recall, back in late 1997, the famed bodybuilder’s housekeeper Mildred Baena gave birth to a son. For years, it was not revealed to Shriver — or anyone else — as to Joseph Baena‘s true paternity. But in 2011, during a marriage counseling session with a therapist, the now-75-year-old actor finally came clean to his longtime wife.
In the forthcoming documentary Arnold, which is set to stream via Netflix beginning on Wednesday, the Terminator star recalls speaking with Shriver about the boy during a marriage counseling meeting back in 2011. Joseph was in his teens at the time, having been born more than a decade before. But it was the first time Arnold got up the strength and courage to come clean about what had really been going on.
Recalling the event in the streaming doc, Arnold remembers how their marriage counselor offered a “very specific” question near the end of one of their sessions. Referencing the family’s housekeeper, Arnold remembers what the counselor asked:
“She [Shriver] wants to know if you’re the father of Joseph.”
Thinking back to what that moment was like at the time, the former Governor of California said in the special:
“I thought my heart stopped. And then I told the truth.”
During the marriage counseling session, the Kindergarten Cop star simply admitted to it by saying:
“Yes, Maria. Joseph is my son.”
Then, he remembered back to how it felt that day in 2011 to see the now-67-year-old journalist “obviously crushed” by that revelation.
As for why he didn’t come clean in the first place, Arnold recalled how he really didn’t want to believe he could be the father of Mildred’s son. The housekeeper was married to her then-husband Rogelio Baena at the time, and Schwarzenegger thought the child was theirs.
But over the years, the bodybuilder began to clearly see that Baena was very much a chip off the old block, as it were:
“In the beginning I really didn’t know. But the older he got, the more it became clear to me. It was then just a matter of, ‘how do you keep this quiet?'”
That’s never good.
The famous duo started their divorce proceedings after Schwarzenegger’s shocking 2011 reveal. He and Shriver share four kids together, too — Katherine, 33, Christina, 31, Patrick, 29, and Christopher, 25 — and it was a very tough road for them to keep things smooth for the children through Arnold’s self-described “f**k up” and the end of their marriage.
As for the paternity scandal aftermath, Arnold has tried to make the best of it while understanding how it forever altered his life. The star strongman recalled how he made everyone involved suffer through his deceit:
“I have caused enough pain for my family, because of my f**k up. Everyone had to suffer. Maria had to suffer, the kids had to suffer, Joseph, his mother, everyone. I’m going to have to live with that for the rest of my life.”
And yet he’s also tried to do good with it, too.
For one, per the US Sun, he “has always provided for Mildred” and their son. Back in 2010, he actually bought them a four-bedroom house in SoCal and continues to make sure they are cared for and supported.
And while Arnold’s other four children do not have a relationship with Joseph at all, the bodybuilder has made sure to stay connected to him. Schwarzenegger explained why in the doc:
“I saw Joseph developing into a fantastic human being. It was wrong what I did but I don’t want Joseph to think he’s not welcome in this world because he is very much welcome and I love him. He has turned out to be an extraordinary young man.”
So there you have it. Reactions, Perezcious readers??
Will U be tuning into the Netflix doc this week to see more?!