Several news sources reported Wednesday that Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mistress and the mother of his fifth child is Mildred Patricia Baena. As Reliable Source reported:
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acknowledgment that he fathered a child by a household staffer is only the start of a still-evolving saga that’s left many questions hanging in the air.
• Who is the woman? Mildred Baena, a longtime housekeeper at the family’s Brentwood mansion, the New York Times reported early Wednesday afternoon, citing two unnamed “friends of the family.” (Her name first surfaced several hours earlier on gossip Web sites, including TMZ and RadarOnline.) The Los Angeles Times, which broke the story of the former governor’s out-of-wedlock child, has not named the mother, citing privacy concerns. Journalists have reportedly swarmed Baena’s new Bakersfield, Calif., neighborhood.
• Who is the child? Multiple sources have reported that he is a boy, now about 13 (and only days younger than Christopher, the youngest of Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s four children). (Schwarzenegger in his statement late Monday would only say that his indiscretion happened “over a decade ago.”) According to a divorce records reported by People, Baena separated from her then-husband just weeks after the boy’s 1997 birth.
After Mildred Baena’s name was released journalists descended on the small Bakersfield, California neighborhood in which she reportedly lived, blocking streets and alarming neighbors. As AP explained:
The middle-aged woman, her husband and her son became perfect neighbors after they arrived a year ago on a quiet suburban cul-de-sac, residents recalled.
That peace was disrupted Wednesday as the media descended on the Bakersfield area after unconfirmed reports flashed across the Internet that former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was the father of the woman’s 13-year-old son. The reporters and photographers didn’t see Mildred Patricia Baena or her family, the three having left just ahead of the horde.
As TV satellite trucks gridlocked the block and spilled over to an adjacent street, residents sat in their homes, stunned. Some worried about the effect the news would have on the polite 13-year-old boy who they say often walked a white poodle named Sugar through the neighborhood when he wasn’t swimming in his backyard pool or playing basketball.
“We just want this child to be protected as much as possible. We’ve all made mistakes and to totally destroy a child’s life over that would not be fair,” said Marilyn Steelman, who lives next door.
Many see this scandal as a turning point for the political legacy of former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. As AP reported:
Arnold Schwarzenegger’s political legacy in California already was tenuous. He left the governor’s office after seven years without making good on his central campaign promise to fix the state’s budgeting system, then commuted the manslaughter sentence for the son of a political ally in one of his final official acts, drawing the condemnation of prosecutors and the family of a slain college student.
Now he’s revealed to be the father of an out-of-wedlock child, a secret he kept during two gubernatorial terms.
No matter his accomplishments in office, Schwarzenegger may be best remembered as yet another philandering politician who got caught.
After leaving office in January, the former Republican governor had for a time been angling for a role as some kind of international political spokesman, perhaps on environmental issues. In April, he appeared at a Washington, D.C., forum on immigration hosted by President Barack Obama, but his grander plans for politics did not appear to be panning out, so Schwarzenegger lately has been trying to relaunch his career as a Hollywood action star.
“It’s over. There’s no political future,” said Patrick Dorinson, a Republican who worked on Schwarzenegger’s 2003 campaign and in his administration early on. “I’m just disgusted. It’s the only dang bipartisan thing these guys do — cheat on their wives. John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger — tell me the difference.”
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