Things You Didn't Know About Arnold's Odd Marriage

Actor-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger's marriage to Maria Shriver was fraught with issues from day one. Despite reported cheating scandals, a love child, and an assortment of other dalliances, the couple's marriage spanned more than three decades, and they even remained married for years after separating. Check out the oddest elements of this unorthodox union.

Shriver started out as the other woman

In 1977, Schwarzenegger began dating a Hollywood hairdresser named Sue Moray. Later that year, he reportedly started hooking up with Shriver. Despite having what appeared to be an open relationship with Moray, Schwarzenegger apparently began to gravitate toward Shriver.

In a 2003 interview with the UK's Evening Standard, Moray said knowing they both had romances on the side "was part of the turn-on for us. He would tell me. Then I would tell him. But when I did, he got really mad. All he ever said about [Shriver] was that she was 'just a friend,' but I didn't believe him," she said.

Though the relationship with Moray eventually ran its course, Schwarzenegger continued to see Shriver...and someone else: his Red Sonja co-star, Brigitte Nielsen. In Schwarzenegger's book, "Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story," he wrote (via the Daily Beast) that he had a "hot affair" with Nielsen during filming in 1985. Schwarzenegger said Nielsen had a "personality filled with laughter and fun," but when promoting the film was finished, he returned to Los Angeles to resume his life with Shriver. TMZ confirmed that Schwarzenegger and Shriver were living together at the time of the tryst.

Nielsen told the Herald Sun that if she'd known he and Shriver were serious, she'd have reconsidered their hookup. "Maybe I wouldn't have got into it if he said 'I'm going to marry [Shriver]' and this is dead serious, but he didn't, and our affair carried on,” she said.

Schwarzenegger reportedly married Shriver a year after the Nielsen affair.

Shriver nixed Schwarzenegger's Playgirl shoot

In 1978, nudie mag Playgirl was set to run a pictorial on Schwarzenegger. According to his book (via The Daily Beast), the spread would be set in "a traditional beer hall, but instead of hefty German woman serving the beer would be young sexy girls with bare t**s." Shriver supposedly convinced her then-boyfriend to pay $7,000 to prevent the piece from being published.

Schwarzenegger said Shriver's feelings were born not from jealousy, but pragmatism. "I thought you wanted to go into movies?" she reportedly asked him. "So if you pose with those girls and their t*** hanging out, is that going to make producers say 'Hey, wow! I want this guy'? I doubt it. What's your goal in doing this? Since there's no goal and it's not going to lead anywhere, kill it."

Schwarzenegger masked his politics for Shriver

In his memoir, Schwarzenegger said he often threw his support behind the candidates Shriver and her politically-connected family favored. He described driving around with Democratic stickers on his Jeep and sinking "a little lower in his seat" out of embarrassment, secretly hoping "Ronald Reagan would be elected president." The iconic bodybuilder said, "It was weird pulling up to the gym every day. Like most of the people there, I was known as a Republican, and now here I was with the Teddy [Kennedy] stickers."

Shriver reportedly contemplated divorce for a long time

Multiple sources revealed to TMZ that Shriver had decided, on multiple occasions, to end her marriage, but life events cropped up and purportedly prevented her from doing so. A source told TMZ that Shriver had apparently been unhappy for many years, and decided to file for divorce in 2009, but then her mother passed away and she held off. In 2011, she reportedly worked up the nerve to try again, but then her father died, and she delayed. An insider claimed Shriver was "miserable," and that despite "serious chemistry" with Schwarzenegger, his behavior had damaged her emotional well being.

The affair that broke the camel's back

Schwarzenegger not only embarked on an affair with a member of the family's household staff, he also fathered a child with her and covered it up for more than a decade. After details about the child emerged in 2011, Schwarzenegger issued a statement via the Los Angeles Times, "After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago. I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to [Shriver], my children, and my family. I am truly sorry." He added, "I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time. While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."

In response, Shriver told FOX News, "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."

The woman in question was Mildred "Patty" Baena, a housekeeper at the Schwarzenegger residence for nearly two decades. She named their son Joseph. Baena retired from the Schwarzenegger household in 2011 with a severance package, reported FOX News.

Despite a history of affairs, there was no prenup

Shriver officially filed for divorce in 2011, after news about Schwarzenegger's love child surfaced. Despite their rocky history, the couple had never signed a prenuptiul agreement. According to TMZ, the divorce petition cited "irreconcilable differences," and at the time of filing, Shriver's requests included spousal support, legal fees, and joint custody of the couple's two then-underaged children, Patrick and Christopher. According to the tab, the couple's assets would be split 50/50.

Schwarzenegger wanted to reconcile

According to his memoir (via The Hollywood Reporter), Schwarzenegger hoped to reconcile with Shriver and claimed to be "optimistic" about his chances. "You can call this denial, but it's the way my mind works," he wrote. He also called Shriver the "perfect wife," and said he was "still turned on" by her.

In 2015, Schwarzenegger told Stern (via Us Weekly) that he'd "had personal setbacks, but this was, without any doubt, the biggest setback and the biggest failure" of his life. "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?"

Schwarzenegger also told Us Weekly about his therapy experience with Shriver, and he didn't paint a pretty picture. "It was the biggest mistake I've ever made. That guy was so full of s**t," he said, of his therapist. "It was absolutely counterproductive to our future relationship...I don't have to go through anyone to have to explain to me anything...I know I screwed up...I apologized to [Shriver]. I apologized to the kids."

Schwarzenegger maintained a relationship with his love child

In the 2015 interview with Stern (via Us Weekly), Schwarzenegger said he has a solid relationship with his son, Joseph. "He's terrific and he totally understands the situation," he said. "So, it all has worked out...It's a very tough situation for him. It's a very tough situation for my kids. Very tough situation for my family. It was tough for everybody. But it has happened and now we have to figure it out, right?"

Schwarzenegger told the UK's Mirror that he was "delighted" with his life as of 2015. "It was me who screwed up," he said. "...We all fall at one time or another and this was a major fall, but I had to get up again because only losers stay down—winners get up."

Five years post-split, Schwarzenegger and Shriver were still not divorced

Five years after the July 2011 split that rocked Hollywood—and the political world—Schwarzenegger and Shriver were still legally a couple. TMZ reported that despite both parties being in long-term relationships with others, the divorce had stalled and showed no signs up picking up steam at the time of this writing. According to TMZ, despite the couple outlining property agreements and financial settlements—noting that all of their children are no longer minors—sources told TMZ that "neither is interested in ending the marriage," in spite of everything they've gone through together, and in their separate lives as individual people.

Schwarzenegger began dating his physical therapist, Heather Milligan, who is 27 years his junior, in 2013, and Shriver started dating Matthew Dowd, who is six years her junior, in 2014.