Video: Schwarzenegger’s secret son led hidden life

  1. Closed captioning of: Schwarzenegger’s secret son led hidden life

    >> this half hour with more on the schwarzenegger scandal and the son he fathered with their maid. miguel is in los angeles . good morning to you.

    >> meredith, good morning. arnold schwarzenegger has acknowledged his infidelity and that he fathered a son only in a written statement. they used to be california's first family, arnold schwarzenegger , maria shriver , and their four children. but this week another woman and another child entered the picture. she's mildred baena , housekeeper for schwarzenegger and shriver for 20 years. the boy is the former governor's secret son, now 13 years old.

    >> who a parent is affects a child 's identity. le so if this child for the first time is finding out who his father is, it's really going to change how he experiences himself.

    >> reporter: tmz has obtained pictures with schwarzenegger and baena . supposely he's supported both she and her son from the start. the former governor lives with shriverer and their children in this mansion. baena and her son lived in this much more modest $268,000 home some 100 miles away . the city of bakersfield is in brentwood.

    >> it be very common for this child to look over to his half siblings and say why did they get to live in a house with their father? why did they get to live this particular kind of lifestyle?

    >> reporter: outside the bakersfield home, plenty of media, but no sign of former governor's son or the boy's mother. neighbors here say they've seen the teenager but never schwarzenegger .

    >> the boy, he is -- he seems very well liked. he's very, very polite.

    >> hasta la vista , baby.

    >> reporter: he's a business tycoon. his net worth estimated at more than $200 million. by all accounts they lead a lave lavish lifestyle but you won't find his name on the boy's birth certificate . it's unclear how much he financially supports them.

    >> i think the support order will provide for the child at a level that will be consistent with the children of maria shriver and of arnold schwarzenegger .

    >> reporter: as governor arnold schwarzenegger often spoke of family values , but for now he shared very little about the son he secretly faerd. schwarzenegger 's son with baena is 13 years old, and according to his birth certificate , he was born five days after the son of maria shriver and schwarzenegger 's son christopher. it's unclear what kind of relationship the children have with one another. meredith?

    >> thank you very much. lynn goldman is a family and law attorney. good morning to both ow you. lynn, if i could start with you, in schwarzenegger 's public statement, he referred to the birth of his son with his housekeeper as an event. when i heard that, i thought that's a very cold way to put what happened in his life as an event. but from a purely legal point of view, what is his responsibility when it comes to this?

    >> the interesting thing is every case is fact-specific. it depends on the facts. she did not list him as the father. under california law , if you're going to challenge paternity, you've got to do it within two years. and the child was born to an intact marriage. but as the facts are now known, apparently her husband left her right after the child was born, so is that an intact marriage or not? and whether north he's ever going to assert paternity because the child had a father, a father that she was married to.

    >> but is this boy entitled to any of arnold 's estate simply because he's his biological son?

    >> no. that would be a state question but probably not. children are not automatically entitlet ltled to the estate.

    >> could he cut that off if he wanted to?

    >> let me tell you what i know. i don't know, but i think. i'm sure there was some kind of a contract that he signed with the mother a which prevent heard from coming forward all these years while he was running for governor. so there's probably something in there that requires certain moneys to be paid. whether or not she could ever get a separate child support order, i don't thing so, but i bet you there's a contract and i bet he's living up to it.

    >> we've been talking about the financial and legal issues here, but let's talk about the emotional issues for this boy who was 13, going on 14 years of age. we don't know what he knows at this point. he may be being sheltered. he may not be. obviously he's going to be con confused. what is the emotional impact going to be on him?

    >> i think these are very important issues that we have to o talk about because this boy is probably going to be confused. i'm almost 100% sure that no one has prepared him for this day, and being thrown out into the world as the son of someone like arnold schwarzenegger is a big deal . it has a big impact . this child probably has a life that's contained and safe, and he's well liked, and he's polite, as they say, and now all of a sudden he's got a spotlight on him. there's going to be a lot of feelings, a lot of anger, a lot of disappointment, and a lot of confusion for him.

    >> eventually they're going reveal his face. how do you help this boy prevent the kind of scarring that you're referring to?

    >> i think the most important thing is the parents are on the same page, that the mother is aware of what the impacts are going to be on her son and get him to be able to talk to somebody and be able to see what role he's going to play in the life of arnold and his current family and how to integrate, if there's going to be an integration. these siblings now have a step brother. how they go forward is going to be very important.

    >> if arnold were to request custody from the mother, does he have a leg to stand on?

    >> under the law as i read it, i don't think so. the man who's the father is on the birth certificate . by the way, i don't know why this woman has a facebook page with the boy's face on it because as the doctor correctly points out, you don't want to do it. and she's done it. so i don't think he's going to go for custody and i don't think there's going to be an integration with the family. what about the other four kids, maria's children?

    >> it's certainly a sad story. thank you so much. charles sophy, thank you.

NBC, and news services
updated 5/19/2011 10:13:14 AM ET 2011-05-19T14:13:14

The middle-aged woman, her husband and her son became perfect neighbors after they arrived a year ago on a quiet suburban Bakersfield, Calif., cul-de-sac, residents recalled.

But the seemingly idyllic existence came to a screeching halt this week as the state's former governor and Hollywood icon Arnold Schwarzenegger confirmed that he had fathered a child out of wedlock — and the attention homed in on former housekeeper Mildred Patricia Baena and her 13-year-old son.

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 teen 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.

The consequences for the teen boy of this week's public revelations could be huge, two mental health professionals said Thursday on NBC's TODAY.

"Who a parent is affects a child's identity," psychotherapist Robi Ludwig said. "So if this child for the first time is finding out who his father is, it's really going to change how he experiences himself."

Noting that Schwarzenegger and Baena's son is likely to be "confused," Los Angeles-based child psychologist Dr. Charles Sophy told TODAY, "I'm almost 100 percent sure that no one has prepared him for this day, and being thrown out into the world as the son of someone like Arnold Schwarzenegger is a big deal. It has a big impact."

"This child probably has a life that's contained and safe, and he's well-liked, and he's polite, as they say, and now all of a sudden he's got a spotlight on him," Sophy continued. "There's going to be a lot of feelings, a lot of anger, a lot of disappointment, and a lot of confusion for him."

Two lives
Baena and her family have been able to escape the glare of the spotlight for the time being, as reporters said they apparently left just ahead of the horde that descended on their neighborhood.

Residents said the family was friendly and like other homeowners on the block of fashionable houses with red-tiled roofs and two- and three-car garages, they kept up their $268,000 house and its neatly trimmed lawn and palm trees.

While the boy was a fixture in the neighborhood, residents say, they rarely saw his mother until she retired 2 1/2 months ago. Until then, she told them, she had been working for Schwarzenegger's family and had kept an apartment near Schwarzenegger's $11.5 million Los Angeles home, 100 miles away.

That physical distance between his mother — and his half-siblings — could fuel the emotional turmoil, Ludwig said.

"It would be very common for this child to look over to his half-siblings and say, 'Why did they get to live in a house with their father? Why did they get to live this particular kind of lifestyle?'" she told TODAY.

Beyond politics and Hollywood, Schwarzenegger is a business tycoon, with his net worth estimated at more than $200 million. By all accounts he and his family with wife Maria Shriver lead a lavish lifestyle, though it's unclear how much he financially supports Baena and their son.

The Schwarzenegger scandal exploded into public view on Monday when the former movie star confirmed to the Los Angeles Times that he had fathered a child out of wedlock years ago and that Shriver, a prominent TV journalist until she put her career on hold after her husband was elected governor, never knew until this year.

Since then Schwarzenegger has vanished and his office has declined to discuss the matter further.

Father-son resemblance
Baena's adult daughter, Jacqueline Rozo, told The Associated Press her 50-year-old mother had worked for the former governor until recently but would not comment further.

A photo of the boy posted on Baena's MySpace page shows a fairly strong resemblance to Schwarzenegger, particularly when the former governor and movie star was younger.

"If I saw him or his picture, I would see the resemblance," neighbor Steelman said.

The birth certificate for Baena's son also shows he was born the same week as the youngest of Schwarzenegger's and Shriver's four children. It lists Baena's ex-husband as the father and says Baena is originally from Guatemala.

Charlene Powers, a real estate agent who represented the home's sellers, said she was told it was being purchased for an employee of Schwarzenegger's and that he was helping with the down payment. Property records show Baena took a loan of $219,224 to buy the $268,000 house.

She is listed on the deed as a single woman, although neighbors say she and her son lived there with a man they thought was her husband.

When the family moved in, Steelman said, Baena said she was planning to retire soon.

The Times has not named the mother of Schwarzenegger's child but quoted her Monday as saying she retired in January after working for Schwarzenegger and his family for 20 years.

'He's embarrassed'
Shriver, who has not discussed the matter since issuing a brief statement Monday, made a quick walk-on appearance this week at a taping of one of Oprah Winfrey's final shows that is to air Tuesday. There, she told the talk show host that she had given her "love, support, wisdom and most of all the truth."

A person familiar with the scandal said it has left Schwarzenegger humbled and embarrassed.

"It's been very, very hard for him," said the individual, who requested anonymity out of respect for the family's privacy. "He's embarrassed. He's not focused on what steps he needs to take for himself, but the steps he needs to take for his family."

Video: Schwarzenegger hopes to regain family’s trust

As for next steps, Sophy said on TODAY that it's important that the boy's parents "are on the same page, that the mother is aware of what the impacts are going to be on her son and get him to be able to talk to somebody and be able to see what role he's going to play in the life of Arnold and his current family and how to integrate, if there's going to be an integration."

The scandal has also returned to the public's attention the numerous allegations made over the years that Schwarzenegger is a womanizer.

It has also threatened to bring forth more women. On Wednesday, Los Angeles attorney Gloria Allred confirmed she is representing Gigi Goyette, a former child actress who has said she had annual trysts with Schwarzenegger at a bodybuilding competition he sponsored in Ohio.

"I can confirm that I do represent Gigi Goyette," Allred said in an email. "We have no comment at this time and we will also have no comment tomorrow."

Shortly before Schwarzenegger was elected governor in 2003, the Times reported allegations from more than a dozen women who said he had groped them or made unwanted advances. He apologized at the time for having behaved badly in his younger years.

Schwarzenegger biographer Joe Mathews said the public shouldn't have been all that surprised by this week's revelations.

Persistent rumors
There had been rumors on the political circuit for years of a Schwarzenegger out-of-wedlock child, Mathews said, although the accounts could not be verified until now. The author of the 2006 book, "The People's Machine: Arnold Schwarzenegger and the Rise of Blockbuster Democracy," also noted that both Schwarzenegger and Shriver were careful to parse their words when they addressed the womanizing allegations in 2003, never issuing an outright denial.

"She didn't come out and defend him and say he's a faithful, great husband," he said of Shriver's defense of her husband. "She said he's a person who is really smart and really wants to do this job and has a lot to offer California."

PhotoBlog: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver in happier times

Perhaps more telling, as early as 1999, Mathews said, Schwarzenegger, who was then considering a run for governor, called aides together in Los Angeles and, rather than discuss possible political positions, railed against the impeachment of President Bill Clinton for his sexual liaison with Monica Lewinsky. If that was the way politicians' personal lives were exposed, Schwarzenegger told them, he might not seek office.

Since leaving the governor's office earlier this year, Schwarzenegger has indicated some interest in continuing in politics, perhaps becoming a spokesman for environmental causes, including green energy development, one of the issues he worked hardest for as governor. Mathews noted that Schwarzenegger hasn't flatly ruled out a run for U.S. Senate either, although he speculated it would be hard for him to get elected now.

The former star has also made it clear he wants to return to Hollywood. He recently announced plans to play himself in an animated TV show called "The Governator" and is scheduled to begin filming this summer on "Cry Macho," a film drama in which he would play a horse trainer. The former world bodybuilding champion is also in negotiations to reprise what is arguably his most popular role, as the relentless killer cyborg in the "Terminator" films.

NBC News and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photos: Sex scandals and elected officials

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  1. David Wu

    Oregon Democratic Congressman David Wu speaks after a luncheon in Hillsboro, Ore, March, 7, 2011. Wu announced his resignation on July 24, 2011, amid political fallout from an 18-year-old woman's allegations she had an unwanted sexual encounter with him. The seven-term congressman was the subject of news stories of unusual behavior earlier in the year and several of his staff had resigned. (Don Ryan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Anthony Weiner

    Rep. Anthony Weiner speaks during a press conference at a hotel in New York on June 6, 2011, where he admitted that he had communicated with women online before and after his marriage and sent them explicit photos. (Andrew Gombert / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Following the announcement of the couple's separation in 2011, Schwarzenegger said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff. In the photo, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver greet supporters before he is sworn in for second term on January 5, 2007 in Sacramento, Calif. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images file) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Chris Lee

    Left: House Speaker John Boehner, left, shakes hands with Rep. Chris Lee, alongside members of Lee's family during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill on Jan. 5, 2011. His wife, Michele, holds the bible and his son Johnathan, leans against his dad. Lee abruptly resigned his seat on Feb. 9, after a gossip web site, Gawker, reported that Lee had sent a shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist (right). printed a series of e-mails which the lawmaker apparently had exchanged with the woman, who asked not to be identified. (AP, Gawker) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Mark Sanford

    After going AWOL for seven days, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted on June 24, 2009 that he'd secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he'd been having an affair. The married politician, who’s also a father of four, said he’d known the woman for eight years. "What I did was wrong. Period," he said. (Davis Turner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. John Ensign

    On June 16, 2009, Sen. John Ensign announced that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer who was then employed as one of his top aides. The senator said he disclosed the relationship after an attorney for the woman’s husband made "exorbitant demands for cash and other financial benefits." (Isaac Brekken / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. John Edwards

    In this image taken from video and released by ABC News, Bob Woodruff interviews John Edwards Friday, Aug. 8, 2008 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The former North Carolina senator, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, confessed to ABC News that he had lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter.

    At the time, he denied fathering a baby with Hunter, but on Jan. 21, 2009, he released a statement exclusively to NBC News admitting that was was indeed the father of Francis Quinn Hunter. (ABC News via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Eliot Spitzer

    New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, addresses reporters with his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, at his office in New York, apologizing for a "private matter" but making no reference to a March 10, 2008, New York Times report linking him to a prostitution ring. Spitzer resigned later that week. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Larry Craig

    Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after being arrested in June 2007 in a Minneapolis airport restroom. The undercover officer who arrested him said Craig tapped his feet and swiped his hand under a stall divider in a way that signaled he wanted sex. Craig appealed, arguing that the law is invalid. He insisted that his actions were misconstrued and that he is not gay. He said he pleaded guilty in hopes of resolving the matter quietly (Troy Maben / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. David Vitter

    Sen. David Vitter, R-La., acknowledged in July 2007 that his Washington phone number was among those called several years before by an escort service. The admission came after Hustler magazine told the senator that his telephone number was linked to the service. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Antonio Villaraigosa

    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, walks with Mirthala Salinas, then a reporter for Telemundo 52, on the north steps of the state Capitol in Sacramento in June 2006. Villaraigosa later acknowledged he was involved in a romantic relationship with Salinas. (Robert Durell / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Mark Foley

    Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., abruptly resigned in September 2006 after reports that he sent sexual messages to teenage male congressional pages. The Foley scandal helped Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in the November 2006 elections. (Lawrence Jackson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. James McGreevey

    Dina Matos McGreevey stands next to her husband, Gov. James McGreevey, a Democrat, as he announces his resignation during a 2004 news conference in Trenton, N.J. McGreevey admitted he is homosexual and had an extramarital affair with another man, Golan Cipel, pictured right. McGreevey later wrote a book, "The Confession," about his life; Dina Matos McGreevey also later wrote a book, "Silent Partner," about their marriage. (AP photos) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan, a Republican, dropped out of the 2004 Senate race in Illinois when his wife, TV actress Jeri Lynn Ryan, filed divorce papers that alleged he had taken her to "bizarre clubs" and asked her to have sex in front of other people. Ryan denied that but acknowledged they went to one avant-garde club in Paris where they both felt creepy. Ryan's Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, easily won the Illinois seat. (Stephen J. Carrera / ASSOCIATED PRESS) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Bob Livingston

    Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., was on the verge of becoming House speaker in 1998 when he acknowledged straying in his marriage. He resigned from Congress a couple of months later. (Khue Bui / AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Bill Clinton

    President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, gave evasive and misleading testimony under oath and publicly denied having sexual relations with former intern Monica Lewinsky, only to be forced into a humiliating reversal. He was impeached by the House and then acquitted in a 1999 Senate trial. (APTV file) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Bob Packwood

    Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., resigned in 1995 amid allegations he made unwanted sexual advances to 17 female employees and colleagues, solicited jobs from lobbyists for his former wife, and altered his personal diaries to obstruct an ethics investigation. (Nathaniel Harari / Congressional Quarterly/Getty Im) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Barney Frank

    Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., was reprimanded by the House in 1989 for using his influence on behalf of male prostitute Stephen Gobie. Frank admitted paying Gobie for sex, hiring him with his own money as an aide and writing a letter on his behalf. Frank faced constituents at a meeting until they ran out of questions, acknowledging, "I did not handle the pressures of having a public life, of being a closeted gay man, nearly as well as I should have." He has won re-election ever since. (Terry Ashe / Time Life Pictures - Getty Image) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Gary Hart

    Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., was a front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when The Miami Herald reported he'd spent a night and a day with a young woman while his wife was away. Hart, who had challenged the press to check on rumors of philandering, initially denounced the report. But his liaison with Donna Rice, who had been photographed sitting on his lap near a yacht named "Monkey Business," sank his campaign. (Steve Liss / Time Life Pictures via Getty Ima) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Dan Crane

    Rep. Dan Crane, R-Ill., left, cries as he talks to reporters in 1983. Crane said he was sorry he hurt his family by having an affair with a 17-year-old congressional page. Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., right, speaks to reporters on the steps of the Capitol. The House ethics committee cited Studds and Crane for misconduct for sexual activity with teen pages. (AP file photos) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Wilbur D. Mills

    Rep. Wilbur D. Mills, D-Ark., stands with Fanne Foxe, an exotic dancer. Mills sparked controversy in 1974 when police in Washington stopped his car for not having its headlights on. Although Mills was not driving, he was drunk, and Foxe jumped out of the car and into the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial. The episode caused Mills' downfall. (AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
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Timeline: Schwarzenegger and Shriver


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