It’s one thing to carry on affairs outside the home, yet another to father a child with a household employee and cover it up for a decade. The former governor’s admission raises a multitude of questions, all of which raise very hurtful issues for his family.
Did Schwarzenegger fail to identify himself as “dad” to the child he conceived? Who did the child believe was her/his father? Why did the employee agree to keep the truth quiet? Did her then-husband believe the child was his? Did Schwarzenegger assume the child’s paternity could be kept quiet for years to come, and at which point would the child be told the truth? Was the timing of the former governor’s decision to tell his wife completely dictated by his leaving office, or did other factors, such as the child’s resemblance to him, force the issue? Had Schwarzenegger told Maria Shriver about fathering the child before he announced his candidacy, would she have left him then? Would the disclosure have destroyed his candidacy? Would that series of events have been better for the child? How will the Schwarzenegger family’s four children deal with this?
Of all those affected by Schwarzenegger’s actions, I feel saddest for his children. According to Shriver’s friends, as quoted in the L. A. Times, she had emotionally checked out of the relationship a while back. The kids had no such option.