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News About Child Brings Schwarzenegger's Political Career Full Circle

Happier times: Nov. 17, 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as governor of California. His wife, Maria Shriver, was by his side.
Bryan Patrick
Getty Images
Happier times: Nov. 17, 2003, Arnold Schwarzenegger is sworn in as governor of California. His wife, Maria Shriver, was by his side.

Word from the Los Angeles Times that "former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife, Maria Shriver, separated after she learned he had fathered a child more than a decade ago — before his first run for office — with a longtime member of their household staff," reminds us about what it was like in 2003 when the Hollywood star got into politics.

"Women Say Schwarzenegger Groped, Humiliated Them," the Timeswrote back then, just days before the special recall election that put Schwarzenegger (R) into office. That kicked off a frenzy of stories about allegations that "on movie sets, in studio offices and in other settings over the last three decades," he had acted boorishly.

Back then Schwarzenegger, while saying that not all the allegations were true, apologized to anyone he offended and admitted that he had sometimes "behaved badly." Shriver stood by her husband. He was elected governor.

Now he's apologizing again, telling the Times that "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."

But this time, the newspaper reports, a spokesman for Shriver says she has no comment. Some of her friends tell the newspaper that Shriver waited both for her husband's term to end earlier this year and for the deaths of her parents before separating. Her mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, died last year. Her father, Sargent Shriver, died this past January.

Married for 25 years, Schwarzenegger and Shriver have four children ranging in age from 13 to 21.

Update at 1:39 p.m. ET. Shriver's Statement:

The AP reports that Maria Shriver released this statement: "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. I will have no further comment."

Patrick Schwarzenegger, the couple's 17-year-old son, :

some days you feel like [expletive], some days you want to quit and just be normal for a bit, yet i love my family till death do us apart.

His name on the social network, however, is listed as Patrick Shriver.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.