Arnold Schwarzenegger is a proud father of five – sharing four with his ex-wife Maria Shriver as well as a son he secretly sired after an affair with his housekeeper, which he later admitted to.
The Terminator star and former Governor of California, who turns 75 today (July 30, 2022), was confronted by his wife after she noticed their housekeeper’s son was growing to look more like him every day.
But what exactly happened?
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Arnold’s secret son
Arnold’s son Joseph Baena was born just days after his son Christopher.
His mother is Mildred Baena, who was working as the famous couple’s housekeeper at the time.
The affair took place in 1996, allegedly while the family was on vacation and the actor had stayed behind at home to shoot a movie.
It’s said that he was originally convinced Joseph was fathered by Maria’s husband, but he quickly realized that the youngster bared an uncanny resemblance to him.
Mildred worked for the family for almost 20 years before retiring in 2011 and she told the LA Times she had received a severance package and that she “left on good terms with them”.
It was that same publication that uncovered the affair that year, with it being kept under wraps until then.
And Joseph’s identity had been kept a secret as well until a decade ago when Arnold addressed the rumors of an affair that had been surrounding his family.
What did Arnold say?
It was during a couple’s therapy session that Maria confronted Arnold about the child.
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He wrote in his book Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, released in 2012: “The minute we sat down, the therapist turned to me and said, ‘Maria wanted to come here today and to ask about a child — whether you fathered a child with your housekeeper Mildred’.”
Arnold added: “I told the therapist, ‘It’s true’.”
Arnold and Maria split in 2011, but it wasn’t until 2021 that their divorce was finalized.
When it was, Maria thanked her fans for their support on Twitter, writing: “Thank you all for the kindness, support, and compassion. I am humbled by the love.”
Who are Arnold’s other children?
Arnold and Maria share Katherine, 32, Christina, 31, Patrick, 28, and Christopher, 24, who all have the actor’s surname.
Katherine is an author who has written three self-help books about self-image, forgiveness and finding direction.
She’s also written a children’s book.
She’s married to actor Chris Pratt and they share two children, Lyla and Eloise.
Christina is a producer who has worked on the documentary Take Your Pills. She’s also appeared on TV shows The Doctors and Access Hollywood.
Patrick is an actor who has appeared in the likes of Midnight Sun, The Terminal List and The Staircase.
He’s also worked as a model.
Christopher has kept his life relatively private. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 2020 and not much is known about him.