Media Outs Mother of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Son

TMZ and other outlets have disclosed that the former household worker for Arnold Schwarzenegger is 50 year old Mildred Patricia Baena. While they posted a picture of her and her son, at least they blocked the face of the son. They said he looks very much like Arnold.

It only takes a bit of internet sleuthing to find the pictures on My Space. The mother only has one "friend" on My Space, the My Space employee that every new member gets, which makes me wonder if it's really her My Space account, or one that the person who leaked this all to the media set up to post the photos. It's hard to tell though, because the photos have a date, which I assume is the posting date, of October, 2008. [More...]

There are a lot of photos, and having seen them, my thought is yes, the child looks a lot like Arnold. Some include two males who appear to be his older half-brothers, and they look nothing like him -- both dark, while the younger child has blond hair. There's pictures of him from diaper days to about age 10 or 11.

The mother was divorced in 2008. I don't think her older sons are from that marriage, but from another relationship that may not have been formalized. She's used two other last names, and the older kids' names match one of them, not that of her ex-husband. She bought a home in 2010 in Bakersfield, but it's not an expensive one (under $300,000.)

The young child looks happy in all the pictures, as does the whole family. They also seem very close. I hope that now that the secret is out, the young son gets to spend time with Arnie's other kids.

As I said earlier, Arnie is hardly the first politician to have a child out of wedlock. I'm not sure what the huge deal is for anyone outside their families. He's not currently in office and he has made it clear he's going back to making movies. He's a private citizen now, and he was a private citizen when the child was born.

I think the bigger question is why is this coming out now, who threatened to expose it and why? Was it for money? I highly doubt Arnie just happened, after he left office, to finally find the right time to tell Maria. I think it's more likely he got a heads-up this was bubbling, and felt he had no choice so she wouldn't be blindsided. Arnie and Maria's kids may also have been told at that time. I think the timing of the public release may have come as a surprise to Maria, from the description of the phone call she got at dinner with Oprah last night.

My final thought: Who will be the first media outlet or blogger to publish the child's photo without the face blocked out? I suspect once one person does it, many others will follow.

Update: More misleading reporting: Radar and Star Magazine say Ms. Baena has a lien on her home taken out by an alarm company. As if she's a deadbeat who failed to pay a debt and got sued. That's not what it is. It's a UCC lien for the alarm equipment, not money, filed when she bought the home- - meaning the equipment belongs to them until the financing is paid. It's a five year financing statement. When you purchase an alarm system, you can either purchase the equipment outright, or lease it, paying a small portion monthly plus the monitoring fees. At the end of the lease, the equipment goes back to them.

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    Don't you remember all those women (5.00 / 3) (#1)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 08:41:27 AM EST
    who came out and accused Schwarznegger of inappropriate advances on them back when he was running for governor?

    They were basically dismissed - he prevailed - Maria was offended and appalled that anyone could ever accuse her husband of such ungentlemanly conduct...

    I don't really care about people's sex lives licit or illicit, but powerful people who are able to prey on others sexually or otherwise do offend my sense of fair play and honor.

    I am really surprised that the media coverage is not retreading the story of the accusations that were made by other people given the fact that there is now proof that the guy was not above sleeping with people in his employ.

    And Arnold is not a private citizen - he is an uber-powerful Hollywood player with a casting couch or two.  If he is a predator, I'm glad he's finally getting outed.

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by Madeline on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:17:07 AM EST
    and the most obnoxious thing...not the affair not his roving hands or even a child out of wedlock, but keeping it a secret for such a long time from his family and still having her employed until Jan of this year.

    The good thing is that her family says she has been unhappy for many years and maybe this is the what it takes to leave.


    Maybe it doesn't matter now, but are (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by Anne on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:31:23 AM EST
    we really saying that back when Arnold was running to replace Gray Davis in the recall election, when all those women were coming forward to tell their fellow Californians what a predator Arnold was, that finding out he had a child with a household employee would not have affected the outcome of that election?  

    It matters how the people who want to hold public office treat the people in their lives - their families, their employees, their co-workers.  If someone can cheat on his wife, impose himself on women out of a sense of entitlement, use power over the powerless, what does it say about his character, and does it say anything about how he will govern?  

    I think what would bother me, were I a California voter, is the deception that Maria Shriver enabled by her angry pushback on the allegations of Arnold's "bad behavior."  Do I care, personally, what drives someone to engage in enabling behavior?  No, I don't.  Was this all about protecting the children?  And if so, why not protect them by getting out of the public eye instead of deceiving the voters in such a public way in furtherance of Arnold's political career goals?

    I don't know why people make the choices they do, but the Shriver/Schwarzenegger marriage looks like a whole lot of bad ones were made, and made over and over again.

    It's the kids who will pay now - was it the voters who paid before?

    I think it would have affected (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:38:07 AM EST
    the outcome of the election - or at least the campaign.  I also think that the more important issue in this story is about powerful people being able to prey upon others and being able to get away with it.

    Regardless of whether or not he was running for Governor or he was simply using the casting couch (or his own living room couch) as a means to accessing sex from women far less powerful than he, he is an unseemly character, in my opinion.


    The current environment really is starting to (5.00 / 3) (#7)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:42:08 AM EST
    read like and feel like the powerful are viewing all of us as prey and that's okay.  It's gross, evil, creepy, disgusting, and I'm sick of it.

    C'mon now (none / 0) (#8)
    by jbindc on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:43:13 AM EST
    Reports are that she chased him!  He was powerless in all this, doncha know?

    And the reports might be true. (5.00 / 4) (#11)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:57:02 AM EST
    The reality is that powerful men and women are often pursued.  Whether or not the powerful people take advantage of that is on them entirely.

    I am always a bit stunned that people put so much of the weight of responsibility on "the other woman" and often so little on the man who is cheating on his wife.

    I think, if the reports are true about her marital status at the time, they both were breaking their commitments to their respective spouses and families...  On that level, they are both adults who made their own choices, but the fact that he employed her and is so powerful by comparison is the part that bugs me the most.


    I agree it would have (none / 0) (#9)
    by dk on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:49:08 AM EST
    effected the outcome of the election (or at least the campaign).

    However, I think it's a leap (unless it's based on reporting I haven't seen yet) to just assume that the sexual relationship wasn't consensual because she was an assistant/housekeeper in their house.  I certainly wasn't there, so what do I know, but to categorically say that every sexual relationship between a homeowner and the person who cleans the house is an example of the use of power over the powerless doesn't seem right.

    Finally, I'm uncomfortable with the part of Anne's comment where she seems to conflate cheating on your spouse with imposing oneself on others or using power over the powerless.  Cheating one one's spouse involves lying, of course, which can have heartbreaking impacts on family and friends, but that's different from sexual assault.  When evaluating the relevance of those things in deciding on whether to vote for someone for political office, IMO, I would analyze them in different ways.


    I don't make the assumption that (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:05:43 AM EST
    the relationship wasn't consensual at all.  I do think that if you are a housekeeper making $1,200 a week with three kids to feed, your position in a relationship (consensual or not) with one of the most powerful men in Hollywood would not be one with much if any advantage at all.  I am sure that the arrival of a love child increased her leverage, but it isn't like we haven't seen the Schwartznegger/Shriver/Kennedy machine quash the women who made allegations of inappropriate advances on Arnold's part.  That's the kind of machine that an assistant/housekeeper would have some insights about and might be smart enough to know that it wasn't something that they could take on alone - even if the had DNA to prove their case.

    Not sure what you mean here. (none / 0) (#20)
    by dk on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:25:09 AM EST
    It seems that you start the comment by saying you aren't assuming it was non-consensual, but you end it by doing just that.

    Again, I'm certainly not saying I know either way, but it just seems odd that that people are assuming it to have been non-consensual.


    You are conflating "consensual" (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:38:05 AM EST
    sexual relations with a level playing field between the two participants - that's not always the case.

    Princess Diana willingly married Prince Charles, but that doesn't mean that she knew what she was really getting into at the time.  And her's isn't even the best example of the powerful swallowing up a person of lesser power and stature because she ultimately was so beloved by the Brits.

    In any case, Schwarznegger looks to be a quintessential example of a man who uses his power and stature to advance his desires for sexual conquest.

    If you go back and read the reporting from 2003, Schwarznegger "stopped short of denying allegations" and said things like, "they didn't tell me that it was inappropriate or unwanted at the time."  The reality is that in that light he seems to be even more of a predator.  His understanding of boundaries is pretty limited if he thinks that making advances towards someone on his movie set is okay until they say "no" - even when he is married - it is a work environment - and he is the most powerful person int he room.  It is left entirely to the woman whose career could be adversely affected by saying no to say no?  I don't think so.


    I realize all these issues (none / 0) (#32)
    by dk on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:01:34 AM EST
    are complex.  And I realize that there is a pattern of allegations that make him out to be, at "best", kind of sleazy, and at worst, a predator.  

    Despite all that, though, I guess I'm just more hesitant to lump this situation in with the other allegations absent any evidence to that effect.


    I'm trying - and failing - to understand (none / 0) (#33)
    by Anne on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:07:44 AM EST
    how having an extramarital affair, however consensual it may have been, doesn't fall into the category of "sleazy."

    In fact, I'm not sure there is anything more sleazy than conducting this affair in his own home - the place where his wife and children lived.



    I'd fail to understand as well. (none / 0) (#36)
    by dk on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:14:37 AM EST
    I was referring to the string of extramarital affairs (assuming it was not known and agreed upon by the spouse) as sleazy.

    What I keep trying to say is that there is a difference between consensual affairs and assault.  Not saying the former isn't sleazy, but it's different, and completely conflating the two, IMO, is not only incorrect, but in some ways insulting to victims of assault.


    No one has said that a consensual (none / 0) (#45)
    by Anne on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:44:11 AM EST
    affair is the same as an assault - I still don't know where you are getting that from.

    And you still have not addressed the issue of consent when one of the parties holds a position of power - "yes" in that case doesn't always mean "yes, I want to have sex with you;" sometimes it means "I'm afraid I will lose my job if I don't" or "this man can make or break my career, so if I refuse, he might make things difficult for me," or "maybe if I just let him do it this one time, he'll leave me alone."

    Is that what happened in this particular instance?  It doesn't appear so, but who really knows.

    My point was that whether this affair  - or any extramarital activity - is or was consensual or not, someone gets hurt in either case: the spouse who is being cheated on.  Does Maria Shriver feel better that this woman isn't claiming she was raped?  Sure, but how much better could she feel knowing that regardless, her husband is someone who wants what he wants, and doesn't give much thought to how that could affect his marriage or his wife and children?


    The only consent that could make a (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by Anne on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:43:12 AM EST
    difference here is Maria Shriver's: if she issued a statement that she had consented a long time ago to her husband engaging in extramarital activities, then there may truly be "nothing to see here," provided the relationship with the employee was also consensual.

    But Maria Shriver is not sounding like a wife who gave her husband permission to indulge himself with other women.


    Very doubtful Maria (none / 0) (#31)
    by brodie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:00:28 AM EST
    gave any kind of consent, before or during marriage.  Jackie probably did with Jack years before, but not Maria.  The fact that she apparently insisted on keeping separate bank accounts in the marriage suggests she had a proud, independent streak and was going to draw some firm lines in the marriage.

    But apparently too she was all too willing to believe his lies about his past and that past being strictly a thing of the past.  That strikes me as a very human failing of many spouses who perhaps subconsciously can't bear to look hard at reality, having invested so much personally in the relationship.

    Mostly I feel for her as she was the victim of what seems like a very long-standing and substantial deception by her husband for his own personal-political ambitions, while at the same time my strongly partisan political side wishes she'd been a little clearer-minded and tough back in 2003, perhaps enough to draw a firm line against his running, as stories suggest she initially was inclined to do.  Trying not to be too judgmental about her, but it's hard ...


    The Shrivers were asked how they (5.00 / 1) (#39)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:21:18 AM EST
    could have campaigned for Schwarznegger given that he is a Republican at some point after he won the election and they said something to the effect of, "More than anything, we like to win elections in this family."

    On a lot of levels, none of this is very surprising to me.  Political families are never devoid of their own problems and dysfunctions, they are just far better trained than most families to hide them and not let them get in the way of their goals.


    I didn't conflate anything. (none / 0) (#17)
    by Anne on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:11:58 AM EST
    Cheating is cheating, whether that takes the form of a married person having consensual sex with a non-spouse or a married person groping women who didn't ask to be fondled.

    Arnold cheated on his wife.  Period.  It doesn't matter whether the sex with the housekeeper was consensual, because cheating isn't defined by the relationship between the cheater and the person with whom he or she is cheating, but by the fact that the cheater is married and engaging in activity with someone other than his or her spouse.

    Groping and fondling women who didn't ask to be groped and fondled is an example of imposing one's self on others, possibly using one's position of power to do it and get away with it, and - guess what? - if the person doing the groping and fondling is married to someone else it's also cheating!


    Sure, a person who cheats on his/her spouse (none / 0) (#19)
    by dk on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:17:34 AM EST
    can also be a groper.  There can, obviously, be overlap.

    But my point was that if one cheats without the assault part, that is, IMO, quite different from sexually assualting someone. IMO, your comment was not clear on that point.

    And, with regard to the story at hand, I've seen no allegations so far that the relationship wasn't consensual.  Not saying it couldn't have been that way, but I'm not going to assume any facts not in evidence.  


    I am confused because I can't really (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:28:12 AM EST
    find any comments by anyone around here that suggest that the relationship was not consensual.  The comments generally address the responsibilities of the parties involved and whether or not the people involved were living up to those responsibilities.   The whole groping story is raised only to point out that Arnold seems to have a history of engaging in extracurricular activities in general.

    Fifteen women accused him of unwanted sexual advances in 2003.  How many were there didn't come forward who consented to his advances over the years?  We've got one so far with this story.


    Sorry if I wasn't being clear. (none / 0) (#22)
    by dk on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:32:39 AM EST
    I was referring specifically to this sentence in Anne's comment above:

    If someone can cheat on his wife, impose himself on women out of a sense of entitlement, use power over the powerless, what does it say about his character, and does it say anything about how he will govern?

    To me, stringing along the three items like this implies that they are all pretty similar acts.  I don't think that's necessarily the case, as I described above.


    I think that some of us are looking (5.00 / 2) (#27)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:43:41 AM EST
    at his record a little more like a pattern than a series of distinct events.  Big picture, this guy has allegedly pursued a lot of women.  The majority of one's we know about are the ones who didn't want to be pursued, but he can't possibly be that unlucky all of the time.  As I said before, what about the women who did like his advances and took him up on it when he made them?  There were 15 or so in 2003 who came forward saying that the had made unwanted and inappropriate advances.  Do we think that the housekeeper was really the only one who didn't turn him down?  I think that that is far fetched to say the least.

    would it help (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by sj on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:22:47 AM EST
    if those three attributes were displayed as bullet points?  

    If someone can:
    • cheat on his wife
    • impose himself on women out of a sense of entitlement, and
    • use power over the powerless

    what does it say about his character, and does it say anything about how he will govern

    It is a list of three separate attributes -- not similar acts.

    for example, so are the following

    Arnold Schwartzenegger:
    • is at least 6 feet tall
    • was born in Austria, and
    • has been married to Maria Shriver for 25 years.

    That's all that's being said there.  Hope that helps.


    Cheating is cheating. (none / 0) (#23)
    by Anne on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:36:03 AM EST
    The difference between the consensual cheater and the non-consensual cheater is that the non-consensual activity may give rise to criminal charges; please don't think, however, that the consensual cheater gets character bonus points for cheating with the permission of the person he's cheating with - he doesn't.

    The problem with cheating is that the spouse who is cheated on is always hurt, even if the object of the cheater's "affection" isn't.

    Legally, Arnold may not have a problem, but morally?  He has a problem either way.


    To me, at least, there's (none / 0) (#28)
    by dk on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:46:54 AM EST
    a difference.  I have a hard time thinking I'd ever vote for someone who I knew had sexually assaulted someone unless I had evidence of a whole lot of serious transfomation and atonement on that person's part (and even then it's pretty difficult to imagine).

    As for cheating on one's spouse without assulting anyone?  Well, I'd certainly feel sorry for that person's spouse and family.  And, if you're like Newt and tell your wife while she's sitting in the hospital with cancer, that's a pretty good sign of pathology.  And, if you're a hypcrite trying running around imposing religion or some other form of holier-than-thou morality on others while not practicing what you preach, so to speak, that's a problem (though I tend not to vote for people who impose religion or holier-than-thou morality on others anyway).  But aside from those factors I wouldn't have the visceral antagonism against voting for them that I would about someone who sexually assaulted someone.


    You've been the only person (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:28:07 AM EST
    in this thread to use the term "sexual assault" as far as I can tell.  Inappropriate and unwanted advances is what I recall he was accused of back in 2003, not rape or sexual assault.

    To put it in vernacular terms, Arnold seems to have a track record of coming on to women other than his wife.  In some of the cases, the come on was offered in a work situation - which could be called harassment - but probably not "sexual assault".  At a night club, bar or dog park, it would simply be a guy trying to get lucky with varying degrees of success.


    Might depend on the (none / 0) (#48)
    by brodie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:56:37 AM EST
    jurisdiction, but sexual assault doesn't mean actual or attempted rape as traditionally defined.  Sexual assault as currently defined can include unwanted aggressive non-genital sexual contact or groping, even with clothes on.

    Iirc, the 2003 allegations against Arnold included at least one (a British woman or reporter?) who was fondled against her will by Arnold (movie set or press interview setting, I can't recall).  She decided not to press charges.

    If my memory is correct, the mention of sexual assault allegations in the context of discussing Arnold and his past behavior isn't out of bounds.


    That's all true, but without (none / 0) (#50)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:08:12 PM EST
    charges filed or any official record, I'd stick with the unwanted and inappropriate advances terminology for the moment.  "Sexual assault" is a particularly loaded term to use.

    But I do remember the talk show lady's story being particularly ugly and it isn't like the guy would be easy to fend off given the fact that he is first and foremost a body builder...


    If only (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:51:49 AM EST
    the media spent as much time on explaining issues as they did on this kind of stuff, we'd be a lot better off as a country.

    Between this story and Oprah's star (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:08:57 AM EST
    studded last shows, the CNN "Newsroom" is all aflutter today!

    AND they can and have linked the two stories - Shriver is one of the guests on one of Oprah's last three shows!

    Doesn't get better than today in the "news" biz!


    I'd like that, preferably (none / 0) (#13)
    by brodie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:03:56 AM EST
    starting with stretching out those low-attention span 4 minute segments in between constant commercial interruptions on the teevee.  CNN especially seems to think its viewers have little patience for longer stories.

    Meanwhile, so long as politicians continue to insist on lecturing us about morality -- as Arnold did, e.g., about the dangers of single parenthood and the vital importance of a two-parent family unit -- and as long as they are still in the business of legislating morality when in office, it's important to continue covering these types of stories, exposing the hypocrisy, the manipulation, the lying, including the way office seekers like Arnold massively deceive in order to win office in the first place.


    I'm sick (none / 0) (#24)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:36:29 AM EST
    of the moralizing too and I'm actually an example of living the life that they THINK should be lived--married 25 years to the same man, two children no children out of wedlock etc but the fact that I'm NOT conservative would probably make their pea brains explode.

    The thing is, stories like this do NOTHING to make then quit their moralizing. If it did, then maybe I wouldn't mind them so much.


    I dunno -- seems to me (none / 0) (#29)
    by brodie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:48:01 AM EST
    that in the wake of numerous headline-grabbing sex scandals involving often Repub office holders getting caught with their zipper down or with a wide stance, that that party has eased off a bit with all the public self-righteous moralizing we heard in the 90s during Clinton.  

    And it could also be that with some press attention to these matters as they come up, the public will be less and less willing to listen to politicians lecture us about morality.

    So, I'm in favor of the coverage -- along with the media doing a better job of covering the important non-sex issues and scandals that we need to know about to be an adequately informed electorate.  They aren't mutually exclusive, and a few channels have all day -- literally -- to accomplish both if they so chose, with time left over still to cover fluff like Oprah's Farewell and other celebrity news.


    Well (none / 0) (#30)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:53:41 AM EST
    I hope you're right on this but I haven't seen it yet.

    If this is thread is symbolic of the (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:11:31 AM EST
    moral views of the country, Newt might as well drop out now. And Rudy can forget about throwing his hat in the ring. And if they don't, and conservatives accept them as candidates, how is that not hypocritical? Why hold Arnold to a higher standard? If it's that Arnold's dalliance produced a child, would conservatives have preferred the woman had an abortion? Of course not.

    The puritanism on display with respect to Arnold is much creepier than Arnold, in my view.

    I think you are right about (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:39:45 PM EST
    politicians no longer being able to get away with such things any longer.  It isn't about Puritanism though, it is about having functioning boundaries.  Too many powerful people in our country don't seem to have any these days.  And if politicians don't have any boundaries when it comes to being responsible for their families and their personal relationships they sure aren't going to have any boundaries when it comes to hurting me and my family up against whatever powerful money comes across their desks.

    I was with you until (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:07:58 PM EST
    your last clause: "they sure aren't going to have any boundaries when it comes to hurting me and my family up against whatever powerful money comes across their desks"

    Exhibit A counter to your theory is Ted Kennedy. Perhaps Brodie will correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe, for example, that Dwight Eisenhower or JFK were dictated to by "powerful money."  Neither was Bill Clinton or FDR, though other people may have a different point of view on that.

    And then we had those paragons of marital fidelity, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

    Honestly, I think personal barriers when it comes to sex are in a different psychic category.


    If it wasn't criminal behavior (5.00 / 2) (#60)
    by MKS on Wed May 18, 2011 at 01:21:39 PM EST
    or involve public funds, it is just gossip.

    Some of the comments do remind me of what Republicans were saying about Bill Clinton back in the day.


    Puritanism? hmmm - seems like the wrong word to me (5.00 / 2) (#74)
    by Dr Molly on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:32:38 PM EST
    I find what he did horrendous; I don't think that makes me a puritan (at least not by standard definitions of the word).

    It's not sex that's the problem here.

    Basically, I'm against people hurting other people. He hurt his wife and kids horribly by doing this. I'm sorry, but fidelity does matter in relationships and it is not puritanical to think so. I've seen people emotionally destroyed by betrayal; it is an incredibly painful experience.

    Nothing to do with being puritanical...


    Shrug (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:37:06 AM EST
    Call me a puritan if I expect a married man (or woman) to uphold those vows that he took before his family and God (since they were married in church).  If you can't keep a promise, a) don't get married or b) get out.

    ok, I'll call you a puritan (none / 0) (#47)
    by Jeralyn on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:55:35 AM EST
    and unrealistic.

    I'm unrealistic about this (none / 0) (#58)
    by jbindc on Wed May 18, 2011 at 01:12:49 PM EST
    Some others are unrealistic about politicians and some are unrealistic about what legalizing drugs would do.  That's ok, I guess.

    I don't think it's puritanical to assume that if someone promises me something, espcially as serious as fidelity, that it's too outrageous that they will uphold their end of the bargain or get out of the promise - that's basic contract law.

    Am I holding Arnold to a higher standard than I would hold a spouse or potential spouse? Nope. Does it affect me personally that he's proven to be a liar and cheat?  Nope.  But it does immediately affect 6 innocent people, and more indirectly because these things always have a ripple effect. And for that, I say, "Shame on him."

    I just think we've gone overboard in saying things like, "Oh, it doesn't matter that he used to grope women," or, "No biggie - he cheated on his wife and had a child out of wedlock." In some respects, we really have lost our way.


    I vote for Vitter (none / 0) (#82)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:09:29 PM EST
    as by far the creepier of the two. (I wouldn't want either of them anywhere near anybody in my family, though.)

    So far the media coverage (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by brodie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:15:04 AM EST
    I've seen -- mostly CNN -- has been adequate to the occasion, but one omission I've seen is the MSM's tendency to trot out the usual pol suspects from the past on their B-roll as they review the history of political sex scandals.  Bill Clinton, JFK, Edwards, Gov Sanford -- a few more, but basically the same names and faces.

    The major omission on this dishonor roll I've seen is of course LBJ, who not only was a world-class adulterer but who, unless a valid debunking story has appeared that I haven't seen, also fathered a child out of wedlock with his long-time mistress (Madeleine Brown), something she revealed to the world ca 1990, with a letter from the attorneys handling the LBJ estate to prove the child support.  Apparently the MSM still hasn't learned of this fact.  

    In fact, they seem to be unaware of LBJ's boasting to others, privately, of his womanizing ability while in the WH.

    Lyndon Johnson, with his numerous affairs, his often aggressive wolfish ways with women, some of them subordinates in his employ, along with the child fathered out of wedlock, is the actual best comparison to Arnold in recent times, and then Edwards.  When is the press going to wake up about the Johnson example?

    Maybe when he next runs for office? (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by sj on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:31:36 AM EST
    When is the press going to wake up about the Johnson example?

    Or maybe when he becomes young and handsome.

    What on earth does Johnson have to do with Schwartzenegger?  Nothing.  Why would you add another name to the so-called rogues' gallery that the press presents for the public's titillation?  Who also have nothing to do with Schwartzenegger.


    I wasn't aware this (none / 0) (#46)
    by brodie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:47:35 AM EST
    just had to do with pols being young and handsome.  Or alive -- note the press' obsession with rolling out pix of JFK when these stories occur.

    What does Bill Clinton for that matter have to do with Arnold -- he only engaged in a WH extramarital fling.  Arnold's sin went a step further, or two steps if we include the deception in keeping it under wraps so he could get first elected.  Otherwise, with just a movie star resume to run on, he probably doesn't make it to the governor's office if this story had come out in 2003.

    I submit the Johnson situation is most closely proximate to Arnold -- adultery plus, both wrt the child and wrt other obnoxious and overly aggressive or borderline legal womanizing behavior.  


    Everyone on your list (none / 0) (#53)
    by sj on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:37:30 PM EST
    is either alive or JFK (young and handsome).

    None of those people are Arnold (tired of typing Schwartzenegger). The press does a disservice to bring them up in the first place.  And, unless I'm reading you wrong, your complaint is that the list they present isn't long enough.

    I submit that none of them should be mentioned at all.  It may be inevitable, but it's just gossip.


    The press is going to (none / 0) (#57)
    by brodie on Wed May 18, 2011 at 01:06:17 PM EST
    bring them up anyway, since they can't resist both scandal and running B-roll, and not all is mere gossip as some allegations have been acknowledged.

    And my complaint isn't of course that the list isn't long enough, but that it's somewhat misleading (mere affairs vs affairs plus) composed always of the same usual suspects from the past -- namely Clinton and JFK, but never Lyndon (by his own admission, an even more successful womanizer) or a few others, like Harding or Grover Cleveland (speaking of dead and not handsome), since we're in the area of not merely affairs but allegations of children out of wedlock.

    It's going to be reported and B-rolled.  Given that, I don't think it's out of bounds to ask the MSM to consider whether they tend to go to the Clinton and JFK wells a little too often, and whether there aren't other historical worthies available to tell the public about.


    Okay so I read you wrong (5.00 / 1) (#59)
    by sj on Wed May 18, 2011 at 01:13:21 PM EST
    My position is that accessing the "Clinton and JFK wells", as you rather crassly put it, is just pretending gossip is news.  

    Those "wells" may or may not have allegations attached.  So what?

    I know you've studied this extensively and have all sorts of facts at your fingertips.  While I can appreciate your tendency to want to access those facts, not all facts are relevent.



    To somebody who's read up a little (none / 0) (#83)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:15:01 PM EST
    on Lyndon Johnson, it's just galling to see him basically exempted from the dishonor roll.  Like Brodie, I'm heartily sick of B-roll of "I didn't not have sex with that woman" and John Edwards's wide-eyed lying to 60 Minutes.

    Not clear to me why a story about Arnold, or John Ensign or any other misbehaving pol, absolutely requires that we go through that B-roll every single time.  The nets must have a special drawer of clips labeled "sex scandals" they go to every time one of these comes up-- er, so to speak.


    How do these things stay secret (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by kdm251 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:17:15 AM EST
    What always amazes me is how many people seem to know about these kind of things but reporters ignore it, especially in the case of republicans.  The entire Bill Owens thing was one of the worst kept secrets in Colorado but no one ever published anything.  And Same with John Elway, and Elway even snubbed Clinton.

    It would be better if people ignored these things but that's not going to happen so maybe the press should treat all people equally.

    Larry Flynt's threat to expose (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:35:43 AM EST
    all of the adulterers on Capitol Hill during the impeachment actually did have an impact.  I think it would be way better if everyone's sex lives were published and followed closely because the bottom line is that there is a lot of cheating and other stuff going on - if there was enough coverage of ALL of it - eventually people would get bored and not care so much about it.

    The problem is that the "religious wrong" crowd would no longer have a political wedge and the Republicans would miss that aspect of their political strategy - primarily because their moralizing gives them cover for being inhumane and anti-Christian in much of their policy - if they can pretend to have a perfect, upstanding and moral family, it is "okay" when they go and prey upon little old ladies and defenseless children.


    Is it weird (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by CST on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:05:03 PM EST
    that the first thing I thought was "at least she's over 30".

    Honestly, of all the sex scandals out there - this one is kinda "meh".  He's not much of a social conservative, so at least he's not a hypocrit.  $hit happens.  If I was Maria Shriver I would definitely feel differently but I'm not.

    I also do not believe that cheating automatically makes you a bad person.  It makes you a flawed person, but we all are to some degree.

    Agreed (5.00 / 1) (#54)
    by Democratic Cat on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:38:53 PM EST
    An affair conducted by a private citizen who is not a moralizer, without evidence of coercion, just doesn't seem like much of an issue to me, child or no child. The power imbalance worries me somewhat, although she hasn't made any allegations that I am aware of suggesting that she felt coerced. I understand why it matters to his family but it wouldn't affect my vote or my view of his fitness for public office. The accusations of unwanted and uninvited groping were much more relevant to how I view his fitness for public office -- and I voted against him when I had the opportunity to do so. (Though I admit that just the R after his name was enough to make me vote against him.)

    This is the guy who made some (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by Anne on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:23:59 PM EST
    fairly moralizing comments about the importance of family and the problems that come from the proliferation of single-parent homes, so I would say that this is one area where his personal life comes smack up against his public one.

    For example:

    "The parents are the single most important influence on a child, followed by education and the peer group," he told Christina Valhouli. "The number of single parents in the U.S. has quadrupled since the '60s, and there has also been an increase in violence and school shootings. All that stuff has increased largely because of a lack of parenting, and many households only have one biological parent -- so many of them are fatherless. It really creates a big problem."

    As Mary Elizabeth Williams, in that same Salon article, goes on to say:

    Fortunately for the young Schwarzenegger offspring, it appears the kid had the kind of stable nuclear family the Republican leader condones: a father figure, a biological father who secretly sent them money, and a mother who worked for the guy. You can see why, shortly before his move into politics, he was able to state with confidence, "To me, family has always been the basic foundation of everything ... Single parenting is a danger and that's what we have to avoid." See, it's OK, because Arnold and the staffer who had his child were married. He never specified it had to be to each other. And that's your family values, Schwarzenegger-style.

    Always love getting lectures from those who aspire to or hold public office about the dangers of other people doing what they, themselves, have been doing, but won't admit to until they are forced to.


    The latest gossip is that he fired her (none / 0) (#66)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 02:41:26 PM EST
    and that she threatened to go public with the story as a result.

    Factoring in the 15 women who came forward with stories of unwanted advances, I'd say that we basically know about 15 times that he struck out and one where he didn't in his quest for sexual encounters with women other than his wife.  At least, that's how I look at it.


    And at least, he hasn't told us about asking God (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by byteb on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:44:22 PM EST
    for forgiveness.

    I agree with you that sh&t happens. People are unfaithful to each other for any number of reasons. Some couples get passed it and move on together, others split up. It happens all the time.

    But I have real issues with conservative politicians who preach about family values and condemn others then live another way.

    I think I find Arnold's affair particularly distasteful because it was with someone who worked for him in his household, because the affair was conducted in his home, because they had unprotected sex (which not be his fault if she told him she on birth control), because the woman continued to work as an employee for years afterwards thus adding layers of deceit upon deceit. Finding out that Maria and the mistress were pregnant at the same time adds to the yuk  factor.


    What a wonderful media. (5.00 / 1) (#64)
    by lentinel on Wed May 18, 2011 at 02:32:26 PM EST
    Outing the lost son of Arnold Schwarzenegger.


    Investigation of trivia like the wars and the flaky and contradictory rationales attached thereto by our wandering government - not so compelling.

    I could agree with you, (none / 0) (#79)
    by lentinel on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:23:28 PM EST
    but I more often feel that it is the media that love this stuff.

    What choice do we have as people?

    I believe, perhaps naively, that people would like to discuss the reality of what is happening in Afghanistan if given the chance.

    We are not given the chance.

    And forget about our "leaders" trying to present anything intelligent for us to discuss.

    To an extent, I think you are blaming the victim, us, for the perfidy and stupidity of the media and the government hacks that they serve. It is to the benefit of the washington establishment and the very rich and powerful to keep us distracted and talking about trivia while they go about killing and looting.
    And the media oblige.
    That's what they get the big bucks to do.


    You are naive (none / 0) (#84)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:19:42 PM EST
    Sorry, but that's the case.  The nets now get minute-by-minute Nielsen ratings on their programs, so they know exactly what draws the eyeballs and what does not.

    If they pound endlessly on a story, it's because it's getting the viewers.


    OK, (none / 0) (#85)
    by lentinel on Thu May 19, 2011 at 04:15:11 AM EST
    but, as I said, what alternatives are there for viewers?
    All the channels focus on the same stories, so the Neilsens simply tell us which of the channels are describing the fluff in the most entertaining (or least irritating) manner.

    I do think that a program that was serious about presenting important issues to the American people would draw viewers.

    We need an Edward R. Murrow.


    I think my husband sized it up best (4.67 / 3) (#51)
    by Militarytracy on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:26:37 PM EST
    when he called home at lunch to see how my asthma is doing today (something out there getting me).  He said that when it comes to these politicians risking detroying their families and the lives and happiness of their children, if they are willing to risk the welfare of their families doing such things imagine what they are willing to risk when it comes to the welfare of their constituents.

    That's a good point. (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by inclusiveheart on Wed May 18, 2011 at 12:30:29 PM EST
    I also wonder what kind of total lack of self awareness and compassion it takes to do this kind of stuff to one's family members.

    In my opinion, (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by lentinel on Wed May 18, 2011 at 02:43:43 PM EST
    good ol' Bill Clinton did it to the whole country.

    In addition to the absolute lack of moral sensitivity,
    he gave the republicans what they were looking for.
    He wasted the last years of his presidency over it.
    He didn't resign. -
    If he had, GW Bush would have faced an incumbent president Gore instead of a confused and bumbling V.P.

    We're still suffering from his egomaniacal, contemptuous manipulative and inexcusable behavior.


    MT (none / 0) (#86)
    by lentinel on Thu May 19, 2011 at 04:16:41 AM EST
    I meant to vote a "5" for your comment.

    I don't know how a "4" happened.


    I find it difficult, (none / 0) (#2)
    by dk on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:11:55 AM EST
    though not impossible of course, to believe that Maria only found out a few months ago.  I mean, if the linked story is to be believed, Mildred worked in their house day in and day out the entire time until pretty recently.  The woman was right under her nose and, you'd think that at least once she might have seen the kid and noticed how much he looked like Arnold.

    That's the only odd part of the story as far as I'm concerned.  I don't think the fact that they are rich and famous has much relevance.  Cheating on your spouse is a pretty widespread phenomenon cutting across class lines, I'd think.

    TMZ is reporting (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by jbindc on Wed May 18, 2011 at 09:26:31 AM EST
    That Maria wanted a divorce since around 2009, but then her mother died, and then her father died earlier this year, so she didn't want to do anything then.

    TMZ also reports that the story came out now because TMZ and the Times were close to breaking it.

    And while Arnold is technically a private citizen - he's not really.

    I care about this story in the sense that it's sad another family is broken up by a man who can't control his urges, but in the grand scheme of things, he's apparently financially taken care of this child, and this child seems to have a mother that loves him and takes care of him.

    Jennifer Granholm, former governor of Michigan said it best yesterday when she tweeted:

    "Another guy guv admits 2 cheating on his wife. Maybe we need more women governors. Guys: keep ur pants zipped, for Pete's sake."

    Pleaze (none / 0) (#12)
    by ScottW714 on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:02:35 AM EST
    ... are you suggesting women are immune from it ?  In all these cases of men not keeping their pants on there is a woman with her pants down as well.

    The only difference is women simply don't hold the number of powerful positions that men do, when they do, it will be an equal opportunity slime fest.


    I would say (none / 0) (#15)
    by jbindc on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:08:53 AM EST
    That very female politicians do and will find themselves embroiled in sex scandals.

    Rather (none / 0) (#18)
    by jbindc on Wed May 18, 2011 at 10:14:17 AM EST
    very FEW female politicians do and will find themselves in sex scandals.

    That might explain (none / 0) (#78)
    by Nemi on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:03:17 PM EST
    him buying his wife an expensive diamond ring, while attending the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen 2009?
    Maria wanted a divorce since around 2009

    Sort of the well-to-do husband's equivalence to buying flowers when he's screwed up?

    They lived in mansion. A mini-castle. (5.00 / 1) (#34)
    by byteb on Wed May 18, 2011 at 11:09:19 AM EST
    Rooms upon rooms. They probably had a significant staff who maintained the place..who cooked, cleaned and did the laundry. It's entirely possible that Maria had no idea what was going on.

    It's not as if (none / 0) (#68)
    by lentinel on Wed May 18, 2011 at 02:49:06 PM EST
    there weren't any red flags about Arnold.

    Weren't there a bunch of stories abounding about Arnold the Groper around the time he was running for Gov?

    For example...

    I'm thinking she must have (none / 0) (#76)
    by nycstray on Wed May 18, 2011 at 03:59:48 PM EST
    family there or something  . . .  :P

    Please God, make something happen to (none / 0) (#80)
    by oculus on Wed May 18, 2011 at 05:44:41 PM EST
    change the subject.