In a recent interview with People magazine, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger opened up about the current state of his relationship with ex-wife Maria Shriver, shedding light on the aftermath of their much-publicized divorce and the challenges they faced.
Schwarzenegger revealed that the dissolution of their marriage was not marked by animosity or a feud but acknowledged his own mistakes, stating, “It’s not like we had a fight. It’s just my f— up.” He took responsibility for his actions, referring to the affair he had in 1996 that led to the birth of a child with the family’s housekeeper, Mildred Baena.
The actor-turned-politician detailed the impact of his actions on the family during counseling sessions with Shriver. The revelation of his extramarital affair and the paternity of his son, Joseph, caused significant pain for Shriver, the children, and others involved. Schwarzenegger expressed remorse, acknowledging the suffering he caused and emphasizing that the kids should not bear the brunt of the situation.
“Maria and I went to counseling once a week,” Schwarzenegger previously said in his docuseries, “Arnold,” per People magazine. “In one of the sessions the counselor said, ‘I think today Maria wants to be very specific about something. She wants to know if you are the father of Joseph [Baena].’ And I was like – I thought my heart stopped, and then I told the truth… She was crushed because of that. I had an affair in ’96. In the beginning, I really didn’t know,” the actor said of his son’s paternity. “I just started feeling the older he got the more it became clear to me and then it was really just a matter of how do you keep this quiet? How do you keep this a secret?”
“I think that I have caused enough pain for my family because of my f— up. Everyone had to suffer. Maria had to suffer. The kids had to suffer. Joseph. His mother. Everyone,” he added.
Despite the challenges, Schwarzenegger stressed the enduring nature of his connection with Shriver. He stated, “My chapter with Maria will continue on forever. Even though it’s a different relationship, there’s no reason for me to feel anything other than love for her.” The two continue to maintain communication, particularly concerning matters related to their children, such as holidays, birthdays, and family events.
Schwarzenegger also provided insight into his current relationship with Heather Milligan, a physical therapist with whom he has been linked since 2013. Describing their connection as “fantastic,” he praised Milligan’s independence and drive. The former “Terminator” star highlighted the commonalities they share, expressing admiration for her dedication and character.
“She’s unbelievable because we have so many things in common. After my therapy was finished, after I was finished [“Escape Plan“], I called her and took her out for lunch to say thank you. And then one thing led to the next. Our relationship is fantastic. I think the world of her. I love that she’s into working. She’s clearly independent. She just is driven as hell,” he said.
As Schwarzenegger reflects on his past, he appears to have embraced a new chapter in his personal life, marked by a commitment to maintaining positive relationships with both his ex-wife and his current partner, Heather Milligan.