For more than a decade, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger concealed a child he had fathered with a longtime member of his household staff, only revealing his secret to wife Maria Shriver after leaving office - and after his mistress retired from the home with a severance package, the Los Angeles Times reported early this morning.
"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Mr. Schwarzenegger said Monday night.
The staff member retired in January after working for the family for 20 years - a personal goal, she told the Times on Monday night when she also denied the paternity allegations, before Mr. Schwarzenegger issued his bombshell statement.
"I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire," she said, adding she received a severance payment and "left on good terms" with the former first couple.
A source told the Times that Mr. Schwarzenegger has supported the child financially from the start.
Ms. Shriver moved out of the family's mansion earlier this year after her husband revealed the paternity. The Terminator star had suggested last week that he and Ms. Shriver were working toward reconciliation: "We both love each other very much," he said.
"We are very fortunate that we have four extraordinary children and we're taking one day at a time."
Another portrait emerged from Ms. Shriver's friends, who suggested she'd been miserable for years, but like many other dutiful political wives, waited until her husband finished his term to make any moves.
During Mr. Schwarzenegger's first campaign for governor in 2003, Ms. Shriver stood by her husband as dozens of women accused him of groping them over many years.
Is the timing of Mr. Schwarzenegger's revelations the unkindest cut of all? Would keeping a secret this long eat you alive?