Arnold Schwarzenegger's 10-year-old affair and love child: How much would you put up with?

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver arrive at an event in February 2011. This week, the former governor revealed that he had an affair and fathered a child with a member of their household staff 10 years ago. (Photo: Chelsea Lauren) Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver arrive at an event in February 2011. This week, the former governor revealed …When Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver split last week after 25 years of marriage, they didn't give a specific reason. The Governator, 63, seemed ready to return to movies and has a cartoon-and-comic book deal in the works. Shriver, 55, seemed to be mourning the career she gave up in order to be a politician's wife.

Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood, California, home weeks before they announced their separation. She had been unhappy for years, some said; others speculated that Schwarzenegger's long history of womanizing had led to the split.

Turns out they were right: In a statement sent to the LA Times and the Associated Press on Monday night, the former governor admitted to fathering a child with a household staffer more than 10 years ago.

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said in his 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. I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not. "

Given his reputation, we're not surprised by the affair. And he's certainly not the first politician to father a child with his mistress (ahem, John Edwards). But there's more: The staff member, who has not been named, continued to work in the family home until her retirement this past January, after 20 years of service. That's right: After having an affair and fathering a child with her, Schwarzenegger kept her on the payroll-and in the home he shared with his wife and four children-for 10 more years.

Housekeeper and assistant Patty Baena. (Photo: Mediabistro)Housekeeper and assistant Patty Baena. (Photo: Mediabistro)When the LA Times contacted the former housekeeper and assistant, Mildred Patricia Baena (also known as Patty), on Monday, she said her ex-husband was the boy's father and that her retirement in January was voluntary. "I wanted to achieve my 20 years, then I asked to retire," she told the newspaper, saying that she "left on good terms with them" and received a severance package. According to TMZ, she earned about $1,200 a week for cleaning, doing laundry, cooking, and other chores.

Later that day, after being told that Schwarzenegger had admitted to fathering the child, Baena declined to comment. A source told the LA Times that Schwarzenegger "took financial responsibility for the child from the start and continued to provide support" over the years, and a source told TMZ that Schwarzenegger didn't know he was the child's father until the boy was a toddler.

"This is a painful and heartbreaking time," Shriver said today in a statement. "As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment." The couple's children are Katherine, 21, Christina, 19, Patrick, 17, and Christopher, 13. Yesterday, Patrick changed his name on Twitter from "Patrick Arnold Schwarzenegger" to "Patrick Shriver," ABC News reported.

While running for governor of California in 2003, more than a dozen women came forward to say that Schwarzenegger had groped or fondled them inappropriately over the years, and the macho movie-star-turned-politician admitted "Yes, I have behaved badly sometimes... and I have done things I thought were playful that now I recognize that I have offended people."

Shriver stood by her husband at the time, calling him "an A-plus human being" and telling reporters: "You can listen to all the negativity, and you can listen to people who have never met Arnold, or who met him for five seconds 30 years ago. Or you can listen to me."

But a 10-year-old love-child, with a staff member who continued to work in your home all the while? That's hard to accept or ignore.

How much would you put up with if you were married to a public figure?

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