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Schwarzenegger gets jeers, cheers over housekeeper revelations

October 1, 2012 |  1:09 pm


This post has been corrected. See note at the bottom for details.

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger began his tour Monday for his tell-all book "Total Recall" -- getting both cheers and jeers.

On Twitter, Schwarzenegger and some of his fans sent out photos of the ex-governor getting a warm reception at book signings.

But there was also quite a bit of criticism of him after he provided details in the book and on "60

Minutes" about his affair with his family's housekeeper that resulted in a child.

In an interview with "60 Minutes," he described years of deception in which the housekeeper continued to work at the family home even after she had his child.

He said it was "very difficult, strange, I mean, bizarre, I mean, everything else. Whatever you want to call it. But it's the best way I could handle it. And it was one of those things we talked about, you know, denial. I kind of put it away and just said to myself, "OK, I'm gonna put this away. I'm gonna fulfill my responsibilities," he said.

He said the affair as "the stupidest thing" he ever did to wife Maria Shriver and says that it caused her and his children a great deal of pain.

"I think it was the stupidest thing I've done in the whole relationship. It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids," Schwarzenegger said of the relationship that led to him having a now 14-year-old son by the housekeeper.

The Austrian-born body-builder, movie star and politician is promoting his new autobiography, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story."

CBS aired part of the interview Friday. Much of the attention is focused on the collapse of Schwarzenegger's marriage to Shriver after he left the governor's office in January 2011 following seven years in office.

Schwarzenegger, 65, for the first time is trying to put his own spin on revelations about the affair he had with housekeeper Mildred Baena. Their son was born just days after Shriver gave birth to the youngest of her and Schwarzenegger's children.

Schwarzenegger said he went to some lengths to cover up his connection to the housekeeper and their son. The housekeeper, who worked for the family for more than 20 years, listed her former husband as the father on the birth certificate.

Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion in 2011 after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the paternity. The former governor, confronted by Times reporters  with evidence of the relationship and child, issued a statement in May 2011.

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," he said in the 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."

Shriver learned of the child and relationship in a couples counseling session days after Schwarzenegger left the governor's office. Shriver subsequently filed for divorce. The pair continue to be seen with their children on occasion and remain on friendly terms.

Schwarzenegger, after decades as a box-office giant, swept into office during California's 2003 recall election with pledges to return the state to fiscal responsibility, but during his term he never managed to corral the Legislature, and much of the deficit spending continued.

The "60 Minutes" interview with Lesley Stahl comes as Schwarzenegger has returned to acting with the release of "The Expendables 2."

[For the Record, 9:42 a.m. Oct. 2: An earlier version of this online post incorrectly spelled the first name of “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl as Leslie.]


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