SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) – Arnold Schwarzenegger spoke for the first time Sunday night about his many successes and failures in his life. The 60 Minutes interview touched on his body building achievements, Governorship over the largest state in the union, and successful acting career. But, the interview also exposed a double life that Arnold documented in his Memoir “Total Recall” that hit shelves Monday. They are failures that include the secret affair where he fathered a child and ended his marriage with Maria Shriver.
The way he responded to Leslie Stahl’s questions has many people questioning if he feels any remorse for the pain he has inflicted.
Arnold says his first affair was with 1985 “Red Sonja” co-star Brigitte Nielsen. It happened while he was in a relationship with Shriver, who later became his wife.
Stahl: Is that the only affair?
Arnold: No I had others. But, I mean, it’s something that’s obviously between Maria and me.
Stahl: She knew?
Stahl: So, it’s a recurring issue with you?
Arnold: I’m not perfect.
Answers like this one have created a firestorm on-line. Utahn Grant Denham commented on Facebook saying, “He didn’t act like it phased him at all. I saw no emotion at all.”
Matt Peterson added, “i dont think he was sincere. in fact, much of his womanizing appears true. a self proclaimed liar and hider of the truth, why would we believe him?"
And this attention, although negative, may be what Arnold is after … at least according to his former Press Secretary Margita Thompson who said, “Well, it's -- he likes creating drama. I think it's one of the things he's trying to do to generate sales for the book. And, it's just -- it's the nature of who he is.”
As told in his book, one of Arnold’s affairs was with his long-time family housekeeper, Mildred Baena. Seven or eight years after the affair he realized that Baena’s son was also his. He kept that a secret from Shriver for the next five or six years.
Arnold says Shriver confronted him about it during a counseling session.
“She then said hey, I think Joseph is your kid and am I off here on this or not? And I said you're absolutely correct,” said Arnold.
He says he couldn’t find a way to tell her without the news “getting out.”
Jes92478 commented on-line saying, “Shame, shame, shame on him. . . and the best way to make him hurt more is for all of us to not pay a dime for anything he does."
But, there are those who are giving Arnold a fair shake. Joey wrote, “Yes, he cheated and he stated that. I am not defending him, but it seems that outwardly showing remorse is not his style, and he doesn't need to do it to satisfy the media or anyone else. He stated that it was the worse thing he could have done.”
During the 60 Minutes interview, Schwarzenegger reflected on his failings.
Stahl: Do you have to remind yourself or is it always there?
Arnold: It’s always there.
Shriver filed for divorce last year. Her spokesman said she will not be giving a response to the 60 Minutes interview.