At an interview in 2015 with Howard Stern Schwarzenegger, he admitted that his divorce with Maria Shriver was the lowest point in his life.
When Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver got together, they created quite a stir in Hollywood as they were quite an unlikely pair. At the time, Schwarzenegger was still struggling to make his name in the movie industry, while Shriver, who was born in the Kennedy family, was swiftly climbing the ladder of her career in journalism. The two first met at the annual Robert F. Kennedy Pro-Celebrity Tennis Tournament in Forest Hills, New York, where TV newsman Tom Brokaw introduced them, according to History. Sparks flew and they began a bi-coastal relationship that evolved into marital vows on April 26, 1986. Their chemistry was undeniable. What might have been a blissful life was disrupted by one mistake.
In the actor's autobiography Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, Schwarzenegger opened up about his extramarital affair and his wife's reaction to his infidelity. The date was June 4, 2011, a day after Schwarzenegger's term as the governor of California had ended. "The minute we sat down, the therapist turned to me and said, 'Maria wanted to come here today and to ask about a child -- whether you fathered a child with your housekeeper Mildred.'... I told the therapist, 'It's true,'" he said, per ABC News.
During a 2015 interview with Howard Stern on his SiriusXM radio show, Schwarzenegger admitted that his divorce with Maria Shriver was the lowest point in his life. "I had personal setbacks, but this was, without any doubt, the biggest setback and the biggest failure," he said according to US Weekly. "Without any doubt. Not only failure, but you feel like, 'I'm to blame for it. It was me that screwed up.' And you can't point the finger at anyone else. So yeah, I was disappointed in it. It's always easy to be smart in hindsight. The thing was how do you make the best of that situation?"
Daily Mail reports that in a trailer for his Fox News show, OBJECTified, he confessed, "I don’t need any time to reflect when I know it was a major, major screw-up." When Shriver was approached for a statement following their divorce, she gracefully requested privacy. "This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect, and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal," she said.
Schwarzenegger was previously accused of sexual misconduct in the fall of 2003 but even then his wife had come to his defense. As the Terminator actor began with his term as the governor of California, Shriver showed her unwavering support for her husband through a speech addressed to a Republican women's group in Orange County. "You can listen to all the negativity, and you can listen to people who have never met Arnold, or who met him for five seconds 30 years ago. Or you can listen to me," she said according to CNN. The 64-year-old was so dedicated to her husband that she took a break from her TV correspondence job to help Schwarzenegger with his campaign.
Vouching for her husband, Shriver said, "I wouldn't be standing here if this man weren't an A-plus human being. ... I wouldn't be doing any of this if I didn't believe in this man." But she was left heartbroken after the personal and public revelation of her husband's betrayal. While everyone rooting for the couple hoped that they could work past their difference, Shriver had already made up her mind to move out of their family home. Finally, after 25 years of marriage, Shriver filed for divorce in July 2011.
Despite this, the actor revealed that Shriver has always been there for him as she helped him reconnect with his kids following the divorce. "It has worked out really so well with the help of Maria," he explained. Schwarzenegger considers Shriver to be an important support system and two share sons Patrick and Christopher, and daughters Katherine and Christina. The actor also has a son Joseph with his housekeeper Mildred Baena. Despite parting ways they still share a close bond and the 72-year-old actor is very proud of his children. "My kids are a straight 10. I am so proud of them. I'm so in love with them," he reportedly said.
He also shared a gesture from his family that left him surprised while he was promoting the Terminator reboot in Germany in 2019. "I walk into the room and I see the room full of balloons… It was from all four kids and from my wife. There was a note — 'You're the greatest dad, the greatest man, we love you dad' — Each one sent a card. Each one sent a gift. That's the relationship we have," he shared.