In Arnold Schwarzenegger's Brentwood neighborhood, shock over news of affair
News that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a household staffer rattled some patrons Tuesday of a Brentwood coffee shop not far from the ex-governor’s home.
Sel Muttah, 34, a Los Angeles bookseller, said he was upset and angry over the revelations after reading about them in the newspaper outside a Starbucks where Schwarzenegger and his family have occasionally been spotted.
Muttah never voted for him, in part because he suspected Schwarzenegger was a womanizer. Now, he expects the popularity of the former governor and movie star to sink.
“This is not right. He was lying to his family, cheating on them for 10 years,” he said. “He would not be governor if people knew about it.”
Others who had supported Schwarzenegger were more muted in their criticism.
“It’s hard to judge. He has messed up the whole thing,” said Simon Nicholson, 52, a designer. “I’m sad because he’s got a family, but not angry.
“It’s a bad mistake,” he added. “But that is his life and that’s his business.”
“I would still vote for him because he’s very charismatic and a good businessman,” he said. “That’s what we need.”
Matin Yaldash, 31, a college student and onetime supporter of Schwarzenegger, expressed sympathy for the former governor's wife, Maria Shriver.
“All the support Maria gave him was eroded,” Yaldash said. “It’s not fair. He should not get away with it.”
Yaldash now says he regrets having voted for Schwarzenegger.
“Transparency is very important for voters,” he said. “But he kept all this under wraps.”
-- Emal Haidary in Brentwood
Photo: Schwarzenegger and Shriver meet the press in Brentwood after voting in a primary election June 6, 2006. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times