The news that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a mistress while married to Maria Shriver should have come as a surprise to no one, best-selling Kennedy family expert Laurence Leamer says.
“He just had this pattern in his life, to get away with almost anything,” Leamer tells Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview. “It wasn’t just sex, he was always living on the edge.”
And Leamer says there are almost certainly other women waiting in the wings who will come forward with tales of their affairs with the admitted-steroid-using-bodybuilder/he-man-actor/ California-governor.
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He was speaking as the fallout from Monday’s Los Angeles Times exclusive was still gripping the nation. Schwarzenegger had an affair with his housekeeper Patty Baena and fathered a son who was born just five days before Shriver gave birth to their fourth child Christopher in 1997.
Leamer, author of three books on the Kennedy family as well as his said he had heard rumors of a child when he was researching his 2005 work “Fantastic: The Life of Arnold Schwarzenegger.”
He said the most sickening thing about the whole story was the fact that Baena continued to live in the Schwarzenegger house for 10 years. “It was a double betrayal – it’s Arnold’s betrayal of his wife and his vows of marriage, and then this woman staying there who Maria thought was a loyal member of the household.”
Leamer says the Shrivers always saw themselves as a cut above the rest of the Kennedy clan. Maria’s parents, Sargent Shriver and JFK’s third sister, Eunice, had a strong marriage – unlike most in the family. “They had moral standards that some of the Kennedys did not have,” he said.
“This is just devastating beyond devastation because Maria thought she was different and her family was different.”
But despite Maria’s show of strength – she taped Oprah Winfrey’s final network talk show within hours of news breaking that her marriage was over – it will be difficult for her to go on.
The author says Maria was very close to her parents, who both died in the past two years. “She was so close to her mother, she talked to her mother every day,” he said. “She just adored her parents, it was so important to her. To lose them … and to lose your husband in this appallingly public way, it’s not easy to get up.”
But he said he does not believe that Schwarzenegger’s womanizing affected his judgment during the seven years he served as California’s Republican governor.
“But I always felt one of the big mistakes he was when he went to Sacramento, he should have taken his family with him,” he said. “He should have put his kids in school there, he should have lived a real California life. He didn’t do that. They stayed in there kind of upscale Hollywood life in LA and he jetted back and forth.”
But Leamer pointed out that California voters knew the reputation of the man they twice voted into the state’s top petition.
“Right before the election, the Los Angeles Times did a story about all these groping incidents…they were criticized and lost thousands of subscribers who thought it was inappropriate.
“Maria got up and said ‘Who do you believe? Do you believe these women or do you believe me?’ and California voters overwhelmingly believed her and elected him governor.”
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