A Timeline Of Arnold Schwarzenegger's Love Life

Throughout his lifetime, Arnold Schwarzenegger has managed to be a world-renowned body-building athlete, a blockbuster movie star, and even governor of California from 2003 to 2011. The larger-than-life figure has remained beloved by people for the greater portion of 50 years, but nonetheless has had a complicated and very public personal life.

Schwarzenegger was married to a journalist and member of the Kennedy family, Maria Shriver, from 1986 until their split in 2011 (then finalized in 2021). Due to their high-profile celebrity status, their marriage was highly publicized and under constant media attention, which left little room for any slip-ups or scandals. Despite this situation, the star of "The Terminator" was subject to rumors of leading a double life, which included numerous affairs and infidelity.

Schwarzenegger's romantic relationships and rendezvouses have been anything but dull and uneventful. Here is all you need to know about the celebrity's extensive love life.

Arnold Schwarzenegger fell in love in his early 20s

By his early 20s, Arnold Schwarzenegger was already a successful bodybuilding athlete in his country of Austria, becoming the youngest competitor to win the Mr. Universe title at the time, per Schwarzenegger's website biography. While he was undoubtedly successful in Europe, he had a desire to move to the United States to compete, as well as get his shot in Hollywood.

Shortly after he moved to the U.S. in 1968, Arnold met college student Barbara Outland, and the two started dating in 1969. During their relationship, the couple lived together in Santa Monica and enjoyed a casual life together, barbecuing and hanging out on the beach when Schwarzenegger was not training, as reported by The Telegraph.

As he became increasingly more serious about his bodybuilding career, the pair started to grow apart. Barbara Outland Baker told The Telegraph, "I was in his shadow... I just wanted to get married and have children. But he was someone with so much focus, nothing could get in his way." The two broke up after six years of being together, in 1975, and according to Schwarzenegger himself, it was due to their lifestyle differences.

On their split, he said in his memoir, "Arnold: The Education of a Bodybuilder," "Basically it came down to this: she was a well-balanced woman who wanted an ordinary, solid life, and I was not a well-balanced man and hated the very idea of ordinary life."

He was in an open relationship in the 1970s

Following the end of his relationship with Barbara Outland Baker, Arnold Schwarzenegger was not in a serious relationship until he met 25-year-old Hollywood hairdresser Sue Moray in 1977. The pair started dating shortly after they met and agreed to be in an open relationship. Regarding the nature of their relationship, Moray told The Sunday Times, "When he was in town, he would be committed to me and I would live with him and go to work from his house. But when he was out of town, we were free to do whatever we wanted and to date anyone else we wanted."

Their openness was a "turn on" for both of them, and the pair continued to date for four more years, even past when Schwarzenegger met and eventually began dating Maria Shriver. This balancing of two relationships would prove difficult for all parties, and was only the beginning of Schwarzenegger's track record of deceit and infidelity.

Arnold Schwarzenegger's love life became more complicated

By 1977, Arnold Schwarzenegger was still dating Sue Moray, but their relationship changed when he met 21-year-old Maria Shriver. Fate brought Schwarzenegger and Shriver together at the Robert F. Kennedy pro celebrity tennis tournament that same year. At the event, Schwarzenegger was scheduled to play, and Shriver was in attendance due to her aunt, Ethel Kennedy, hosting the event. Following some brief mingling and dancing at the event, Shriver was reportedly "smitten" while Schwarzenegger was clueless as to who she was or who her connections were (via The Sunday Times).

The two started dating shortly after meeting, and despite being "very heavy in love" with Shriver, Schwarzenegger continued to date Moray for another year. Regardless of the nature of their relationship, Moray grew suspicious of the relationship between Schwarzenegger and Shriver, telling The Evening Standard, "All he ever said about Maria was that she was 'just a friend,' but I didn't believe him." By 1978, Moray grew tired of being the other woman alongside Shriver, and she broke off the relationship with Schwarzenegger. His time with Moray would be just one of the several affairs the actor would have during his relationship with Shriver.

He cheated on Maria Shriver with his Red Sonja co-star

In the 1980s, Arnold Schwarzenegger was arguably at the height of his career, with films "Conan the Barbarian," "The Terminator," and "Predator" all released during the decade. During this time period, he acted in several other movies, including "Red Sonja." Along with his busy acting career, Schwarzenegger was still in a relationship with Maria Shriver, who constantly faced media reports of infidelity from her boyfriend. While filming "Red Sonja," he openly had an affair with model and co-star Brigitte Nielsen.

According to the book "Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger," while Shriver was back in the States, Nielsen and Schwarzenegger were traveling together throughout Europe, stopping in Rome, Vienna, Munich, and Austria, where they stayed at various hotels together. Furthermore, the pair were seen on various outings, ranging from parties to ski resorts. After this time together, Nielsen was allegedly in love with Schwarzenegger. The actor-politician claimed that Nielsen wanted to be his "wife or woman," but he turned down her offers and remained committed (loosely) to Shriver.

In a 2012 interview with CNN, Schwarzenegger openly admitted to his affair with Nielsen, which is one of the two affairs he has actually confirmed himself.

After three attempts, Maria Shriver accepted his proposal

Since dating Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger had allegedly cheated several times with a handful of different women, and made no effort of concealing his indiscretions, either. So, when it came time for him to propose, Shriver was initially put off by his offers and understandably rejected them on two separate occasions. Unperturbed by her rejection, Schwarzenegger proposed a third time in August 1985, when the pair visited his hometown of Thal, Austria. While it was seemingly a picture-perfect proposal, Shriver was skeptical, and reportedly said, "Hey, Arnold, what's so special about today? Have I been especially good lately? Have I gotten really beautiful?" per The Sunday Times.

Despite her suspicions and apprehension, along with the history of their relationship, Shriver accepted his proposal and they became engaged. The two married less than a year later at St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church in Hyannis, Massachusetts in April 1986, as originally reported by The New York Times.

Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger started a family

After getting married, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger started a family, while maintaining their own careers at the same time. Three years after tying the knot, the pair had their first child, Katherine Eunice, who was born in 1989. Now, Katherine is married to actor Chris Pratt; the couple have one child and another one on the way, according to People.

Shriver and Schwarzenegger continued to grow their family into the 1990s, and had Christina Maria Aurelia in 1991, Patrick Arnold in 1993, and Christopher Sargent in 1997. Christina has taken after her father and works in the entertainment industry; she produced her Netflix documentary "Take Your Pills" in 2018. Patrick is also in show business, and is an actor known for his roles in "Grown Ups 2" and "Midnight Sun" (via Parade). The youngest of the children, Christopher, is mainly out of the spotlight but did graduate from the University of Michigan in 2020, according to Us Weekly.

While his love life has been complicated, Schwarzenegger always valued being a dad. On the importance of being a father, he spoke to Men's Health, saying, "Fatherhood is really the greatest joy. Watching all five of my kids grow into their own successful lives is fantastic. ... You start to realize, wow, they are really growing up and now it's not just me pumping them up. We are all pumping each other up."

His extra-marital affairs were not over

Despite being married and having a family, Arnold Schwarzenegger allegedly continued to have other affairs, and was constantly caught in a web of rumors detailing relationships with several other women. Celebrity biographer Ian Halperin wrote of these extramarital affairs in his book, "The Governator," noting that the actor allegedly cheated with other Hollywood actors, including "Little House on the Prairie" actor Gigi Goyette, as well as his "Total Recall" co-star Rachel Ticotin (via The Independent).

Though these rumors are unconfirmed, Goyette did speak with the Daily Mail shortly after Schwarzenegger's split from Shriver in 2011. She alleged that she had an affair with Schwarzenegger in 1989, around the time his first child was born. In addition to her claims of having an affair with Schwarzenegger, Goyette spoke on his other supposed relationships, saying, "There were so many other women. About 13 have come out of the woodwork." Schwarzenegger denied any romantic involvement with Goyette, and has not commented on the rumors regarding him and Ticotin.

Maria Shriver remained by his side amidst accusations

By the early 2000s, Arnold Schwarzenegger took time away from the big screen and set his sights on a different career, one that involved being in public office. In 2003, he ran for governor of California, and eventually won the election in October of that same year, but his victory did not come without hardship and problems. During the time of his campaign for election, 15 women accused him of sexual misconduct, according to CBS News. Despite the accusations, Shriver remained by her husband's side and supported him publicly through this time of scrutiny.

While Shriver never discounted the claims by the victims, she nonetheless defended him during his campaign, saying in a speech, "I wouldn't be standing here if this man weren't an A-plus human being. I wouldn't be taking my time, I wouldn't have left my job that I love, I wouldn't be doing any of this if I didn't believe in this man" (via CNN). While Shriver's very public declaration highly contrasted Schwarzenegger's track record of affairs and infidelity, her loyalty and support undoubtedly helped give him the edge to win the election.

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

He had an affair with the family housekeeper

Arnold Schwarzenegger's infidelity did not have any bounds, and in the mid-1990s, he had an affair with the family housekeeper, Mildred Baena. 

Baena became pregnant in 1996, coincidentally at the same time that Shriver was also pregnant. After Baena had her child in 1997, just five days after Shriver had Christopher, she continued to work for the family. As her son, Joseph, started to grow up, however, she noticed how much he resembled Schwarzenegger.

In an interview with Hello! Baena spoke about how she started to put the pieces together, saying, "It was as Joseph grew and I started to see the resemblance that I wondered — but it became more apparent as time went on. I knew Arnold was the father." Schwarzenegger revealed his paternity to his family in 2011, and shortly after the revelation, Shriver filed for divorce, per the Los Angeles Times.

"Inside Edition" spoke with Joseph Baena in 2022, where he showed off his life as a realtor and bodybuilder. "The media ... has always been in my face, but I kind of just drown it out. It's like outside noise," he said.

Despite their longevity, Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger separated in 2011

A relationship like the one between Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver — filled with affairs, deceit, and hurt, along with intense media speculation and scrutiny, can only last so long. Following the devastating revelation that Schwarzenegger fathered a child outside of their marriage in 2011, Shriver filed for divorce after 25 years of marriage. The news of his affair with housekeeper Mildred Baena was the final straw for Shriver, who ultimately wanted her children to be protected from media scrutiny.

A source close to Shriver told People, "While Maria may not have been as angry at Mildred as she was at Arnold, her instinct would be to protect her family. Whatever she did in the aftermath was about taking care of her kids, trying to shield them and trying to minimize the repercussions."

Shriver and Schwarzenegger were separated for nearly ten years before their divorce was officially finalized in December 2021, per NBC News.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is dating again

Following his separation from Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger was quickly back on the dating scene and started dating Heather Milligan in 2013. Milligan is a physical therapist and is 27 years younger than Schwarzenegger. The pair share a common love for athleticism and sports, with Milligan aiding athletes in injury recovery at her practice, Elite Ortho Sport (per The Sun). Schwarzenegger and Milligan have been together for almost a decade, and show no signs of separating. A friend of Schwarzenegger's told Page Six (via the New York Post) that he "is very happy with Heather. She's very good for him."

While Schwarzenegger is in a relationship with Milligan, he nonetheless maintains a relationship with Shriver, and it is allegedly a positive one. A source close to the family told Page Six, "​​They have a great relationship, they're very close and take care of the kids, and they see each other a lot" (via the New York Post).