Arnold Schwarzenegger was introduced to Maria Shriver in 1977. At the time he was in an open relationship with another woman. It is well known that he ended up dating Maria, obviously ending his previous relationship. Judging by what happened years later, Maria and Arnold did not have an open relationship, though Arnold did not always remember this.
Unbeknownst to Maria, he cheated on her in 1985 with his fellow co-star Brigitte Nielsen, who went on to marry Sylvester Stallone. It was she who revealed the affair and Arnold confirmed it in his auto-biography. At that time, however, he was already divorcing Maria Shriver, so it likely made not much difference to the proceedings, but will have added insult to injury.
Brigitte Nielsen claimed she did not know that Arnold had been in a relationship at the time, otherwise she would not have engaged in a tryst with him. Be that as it may, their affair didn’t last long and in 1986 Arnold married Maria.
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During the course of their marriage they had four children, the youngest of whom was born only a week before Arnold’s affair with his housekeeper also came to fruition in the form of a son. Apparently Arnold did not know at first that the boy was his and only figured it out years later when the child started to look like him more and more. But he does say that he took financial responsibility for him from the beginning, perhaps meaning from the moment he knew.
It seems highly unlikely that Maria Shriver knew anything about her husband’s unfaithfulness. She defended him against allegations of sexual misconduct during his first run for governor of California, saying that she knew him better than anybody else and that there was nothing to those allegations. Yet she did not know that he cheated on her twice, once long enough to produce a child.
Eventually she found out about the affair Arnold had had with their housekeeper herself. The boy certainly looks enough like Arnold to make anyone suspicious and it appears Maria had similar thoughts and made her own investigations, finally confronting Arnold, who admitted to the affair and his fatherhood. Shortly thereafter the couple announced their separation and one week later it was revealed and publicly confirmed what had let to it. For many it came as quite a shock.
Maria Shriver only said that that her first concern was her children and asked for privacy to allow her and her children to heal. Whilst the two boys were still underage, at least all four of their children were old enough to be able to process what was happening, which hopefully helped them to deal with the situation.
The divorce was filed on the 1st of July, 2011.
For the longest time not much has happened regarding the divorce proceedings. Arnold filed his response and was criticized, because there was no mention of spousal support or anything. Apparently it was an oversight that he quickly rectified.
There were reports that Arnold hoped for reconciliation and he did say that he still loved his wife. It was also claimed that he stalled the divorce, because he knew it would cost him dearly. Since there had been no pre-nup, their assets would be split 50/50 according to California law. Estimated to be worth $400 million, it would mean that Arnold would have to write a very big check indeed.
He is an entirely self-made man. He came to the US with nothing and has worked his way up without support from his family. There’s a certain pride that comes with that kind of accomplishment, but it would also mean that he would be rather reluctant to part with such a huge chunk of his hard-earned money.
It has also been reported that he does not want his wife to get any earnings from his biography, which came out after their separation, even though she features heavily in it. Given that he is worth hundreds of millions, it seems rather petty to be so tight with his money. Even after the divorce is finalized, which is expected to happen any day now, he will have a lot of money left. He’s not likely to fall into poverty anytime soon. Given his indiscretions and the hurt he has caused his family, which he admitted was the stupidest thing he had ever done, they deserve a little compensation, even if it is only money.
Meanwhile Maria seems to have found happiness again. Her separation from her ex-husband was long enough ago to allow her to move on. Though as soon as it became public knowledge that she was dating Michael Dowd, who had worked on Schwarzenegger’s re-election campaign, the pair had to confront allegations that they had been seeing each other behind the governor’s back, before his own affairs had come out. Both steadfastly denied those claims, insisting that they had only been good friends prior to Maria’s divorce from Arnold.
There doesn’t seem to be any proof that they had indeed carried on some sort of affair and by all accounts Michael Dowd is a good man. If they had indeed been seeing each other since 2006, as is claimed, they could have come out as a couple much earlier than at her cousin RFK Jr.’s recent wedding.
Arnold has been dating his current girlfriend for a year and a half and certainly has nothing to complain about when it comes to moving on with somebody else. And even though he won’t be happy once the divorce is finalized and he is parting with a lot of money, at least it will finally be over. The ex-couple is said to be on amicable terms nowadays and continue to co-parent their youngest son.