Maria Shriver has admitted that she visited a convent "to be in silence and look for advice" after her marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger ended.
The journalist and author made the remarks while opening up about the period following the split during an appearance on the "Making Space with Hoda Kotb" podcast Monday.
"I first felt like, Oh I'd better go and figure out like, what is the truth, Shriver, 67, said on the podcast, according to People. "I went to a convent — I did so many things — but one of the things I did is I went to a convent, a cloistered convent, to be in silence and look for advice."
Shriver recalled an insightful conversation she had with the convent's Reverend Mother.
"The Reverend Mother there said to me at the very end, she said — and I actually have written about this, but I haven't shared — she said, 'I think you came here looking for permission,'" she said.
"I felt like I was in a scene out of 'The Sound of Music,'" Shriver added. "She says, 'You can't come live here, but you do have permission to go out and become Maria.' I was like, sobbing. I was like, 'Who is that?'"
Shriver said that until that point, she did not allow herself to be vulnerable — that changed after her visit to the convent.
"I think the word permission … I had never given myself permission to feel, to be vulnerable, to be weak, to be brought to my knees, and the world did it to me," she said of the experience. "And then I was like, 'OK, God, let's go. I'm gonna take this and learn everything I can about my role and what I need to learn.'"
Shriver filed for divorce from Schwarzenegger in July 2011, after 25 years of marriage. The divorce was finalized in 2021, with the pair reaching a $400 million deal that had been held up by "lack of motivation," according to TMZ.
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