Arnold Schwarzenegger, who vetoed two same-sex marriage bills as Governor of California, revealed today his own marriage ended after he told his wife of twenty-five years that he had fathered a child out of wedlock more than ten years ago with a member of their household staff.
“After leaving the governor’s office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago,” Schwarzenegger said Monday night in a statement issued to the L.A. Times. “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,” the statement read. “While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not.”
The former actor and Governor, 63, has four children with his own wife, Maria Shriver, 55.
As Governor, Schwarzenegger, a Roman Catholic, vetoed a same-sex marriage bill in 2005, then again in 2007. In 2008, the Governor had a change of heart and announced at a convention of the Log Cabin Republicans that he would fight a ban on same-sex marriage, what became known as Proposition 8.
“Schwarzenegger said he was confident a ban would never pass in California and called the effort ‘a waste of time’,” USA Today wrote in April, 2008. Prop 8 passed that year, by a 52 – 48 margin.
In 2007, after Schwarzenegger vetoed a marriage equality bill for the second time, Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California said, “This will be part of his legacy. He single-handedly is standing in the way of lifting the cloud of discrimination for millions of Californians.”
To his credit, Schwarenegger refused to appeal a California District Court of Appeal ruling that overturned Proposition 8, his state’s ban on same-sex marriage.
(Image from Arnold Schwarzenegger’s personal website)
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