What Arnold Schwarzenegger's love child is doing today

In May 2011, the Los Angeles Times sent shockwaves around the celebrity world when it revealed that Arnold Schwarzenegger had fathered a love child with his family's longtime housekeeper, Mildred Patricia Baena. The scandal destroyed his decades-long marriage to Maria Shriver and tarnished the former Governor of California's political career.

If there is one silver lining to the fallout from the scandal, it's that Schwarzenegger and Baena's son, Joseph—who was 14 at the time his identity was revealed—has managed to weather the storm with relatively few bumps and bruises. He'll celebrate his 20th birthday in 2017 and is already paving the way to a bright future. Here's what Joseph Baena is up to today.

He graduated from high school and headed off to college

In May 2015, TMZ reported that Joseph Baena had officially graduated from Frontier High School in Bakersfield, Calif. The commencement ceremony included a little bit of drama, depending on how much you like to read into online gossip. According to TMZ, Schwarzenegger skipped his son's big day to spend time with his daughter, Katherine Schwarzenegger, in Santa Monica. However, Joseph's mother was there and reportedly "posed for pics with her son, who proudly displayed his diploma."

Baena enrolled at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. and reportedly majored in business and business management, according to the Daily Mail. Joseph had reportedly been honored for student philanthropy, an accolade the Daily Mail speculated "could have been monetary, through a donation, or more likely he volunteered to help in some capacity at an event or on a project that benefited the student population in general." A source told the tab, "It shows his commitment to the school, and it's a great way to meet other students." The insider added, "'He's on a great path, it will be interesting to see if he follows in his father's footsteps, it certainly seems like he could end up working with Arnold some day."

By the way, Joseph was also "pulling straight A's," according to a dad brag.

He went to Oktoberfest with his dad

Despite the awkward way in which the world found out about his identity, Joseph Baena has been working steadily with his father to develop a strong and lasting bond. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who initially spoke very little about his son after the scandal broke in 2011, confirmed as much in an interview with Howard Stern (via People) in 2015.

"He's terrific and he totally understands the situation," Schwarzenegger said. "So, it all has worked out." He added, "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?" Indeed.

In October 2016, Baena traveled to Munich, Germany to celebrate Oktoberfest and his 19th birthday with his dad. The happy travels were shared on Schwarzenegger's Instagram. "Happy birthday, Joseph," he wrote. "Great student, great athlete. I'm proud of you and I love you!" The caption was accompanied by a photo of the father-son duo clinking two giant mugs of beer. 

He's getting seriously ripped

Considering his father got his start as a world-famous bodybuilder, it was perhaps inevitable that Joseph Baena would hit the gym too. And yet, it's still remarkable to see just how ripped this kid has already become. In June 2016, TMZ obtained photos of Joseph and his dad at Gold's Gym in Venice, Calif., describing the young man as "jacked like an up-and-coming Mr. Universe." A month later, People spotted father and son riding bikes together. In January 2019, Joseph set the internet on fire when he mimicked one of his father's most famous bodybuilding poses and posted the rippling results on Instagram.

Suddenly, that "Diet starts Monday" sign hanging above our desks isn't looking so funny.

He's a beach bum

As one would expect from a kid who grew up in California, Baena spends a lot of time at the beach. People magazine spotted him "casually throwing a football around on the sand with a friend" in Malibu in May 2016. At the time, the already-ripped 18-year-old was still sporting his incredibly long hair. The following year, in June, TMZ posted photos of Baena going for a jog along the water with his buddies. He'd cut his locks and added what looked like a lot of muscle.

Seriously, we'll go to the gym tomorrow.

Is Hollywood in his future?

Like father, like son, indeed. In September 2016, Joseph starred in a video directed by his friend, Ben Hess, in which he recreated the famous "Bad to the Bone" scene from Terminator 2 shot-by-shot. 

Of course, while Joseph looked like a natural in front of the camera, he's playing pretty coy about whether he'll actually try to make the big leap to movies. When TMZ asked him in June 2017, he replied with a simple, "We'll see."

His dad's affair still weighs heavily on the family

While Arnold Schwarzenegger has clearly moved on from his love-child scandal, he admitted to Men's Health in March 2017 that he still thinks about his years-long affair with Joseph's mother "every so often."

"I can beat myself up as much as I want—it's not gonna change the situation," he said. "So the key thing is, how do you move forward? How do you have a great relationship with your kids?"

"You can't go back," he added. "If I could, in reality, be Terminator, of course I would go back in time and would say, 'Arnold…no.' You know, it's always easy to be smart in hindsight. That's not the way it works."

The good news: Between beer fests and workout sessions, it's clear that moving forward is the right direction for Schwarzenegger and his successful young son.