Guy Benson
When Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver announced their separation earlier this month, many observers were surprised.  Speculation ran rampant: Had a high-profile life in politics strained the 25-year marriage to its breaking point?  Stress and power may have been contributing factors, but the rupture's primary cause has now come to light:


Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child nearly a decade ago with a member of his household staff, leading Maria Shriver, his wife, to move out after he told her earlier this year, according to people close to the family.

Mr. Schwarzenegger issued a statement Tuesday morning acknowledging the events, and said he informed Ms. Shriver of the affair after he finished his term in office in January. The baby was born before Mr. Schwarzenegger was elected in a special election in 2003.

The revelations were first reported Monday night by The Los Angeles Times.

After leaving the Governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago,” he said in a 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.”

Mr. Schwarzenegger’s associates said that the employee, who was not identified, moved out of his mansion and that she has since retired with a severance. They said that Mr. Schwarzenegger was paying full child support.

 
This is a very sad story, needless to say; the fracture of any family is a tragedy.  Nonetheless, politicos are already buzzing about the political impact of this revelation  -- which, at least for now, seems negligible.  Arnold's out of office and a comeback already seemed, er, unlikely.  A Republican strategist I spoke to this morning wonders how California Democrats' opposition researchers (and the National Enquirer, for that matter) missed this bombshell for a full decade.  Probably the same way Maria Shriver missed it, I'd guess: Arnold was extremely discreet. 

Guy Benson

Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Senior Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson.

Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography