Arnold Schwarzenegger opened up about all aspects of his life in his Netflix documentary, Arnold, which is out now. The 75-year-old didn’t shy away from his affair with former housekeeper Mildred Baena, which led to the birth of Arnold’s fifth child, Joseph Baena.
“I had an affair in ’96. In the beginning, I really didn’t know [that Joseph was his son]. I just started kind of feeling. The older he got, the more it became clear to me, and it was then just really a matter of like, how do you keep this quiet? How do you keep this a secret?”
He confessed that Joseph was his son to now ex-wife Maria Shriver in a 2011 counseling session after she confronted him. “I thought my heart stopped. And then I told the truth. Yes, Maria. Joseph is my son,” he said. Arnold and Maria split after the affair was revealed. They had been married for 25 years and had 4 kids together: Katherine, Christina, Patrick, and Christopher.
Over the years, Arnold began spending more time with Joseph, who appears briefly in the documentary. “I just saw Joseph developing into a fantastic human being and this fantastic man,” Arnold said. “He makes me feel proud, and I feel really good about him. It was wrong, what I did, but I don’t want to make Joseph that he’s not welcome in this world, because he’s very much welcome in this world, and I love him, and he has turned out to be an extraordinary young man.”
The former California governor admitted that he feels “reluctant talking” about it “because every time I do it opens up the wounds again, and I think that I have caused enough pain for my family because of my f***up. Because of that, everyone had to suffer. Maria had to suffer. The kids had to suffer. Joseph. His mother. Everyone. I am gonna have to live with it the rest of my life. I mean, you know, people will remember my successes and they will also remember those failures. It’s a major failure.”
Joseph is now 25 years old. Similar to his father, Joseph has immersed himself in the world of bodybuilding and has been pursuing acting. He’s also a real estate agent.