Last week, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver shocked political and pop culture junkies by announcing they were divorcing after 25 years of marriage. But yesterday, there was far more shocking news, when the Los Angeles Times broke the story behind the divorce: The former California governor and Terminator star had fathered a child with a former household staff member more than a decade ago, and only admitted it to Shriver after leaving office earlier this year. Their high-profile marriage has long been the subject of public interest, especially after Shriver defended her husband during his 2003 gubernatorial campaign against allegations of inappropriate groping. Can Arnold still mount a comeback now that his big secret is out?
Arnold will recover: "It seems foolish to assume that Schwarzenegger — the man who has forever promised us that he'll be back — won't rebound from this latest revelation," says Sarah Anne Hughes in The Washington Post. But this will make things tougher. He's trying to get back into movies, and this could certainly affect how audiences view him. This may also renew focus on old claims of inappropriate liaisons with women. But, Schwarzenegger moved beyond those "controversial allegations" in the past, and he could very well recover from this, too.
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Hollywood has seen far worse scandals: Schwarzenegger has left his "failed political career" and headed back to the movie business where he found so much success, says Joe Windish at The Moderate Voice. He's already signed three film deals this month. Sex scandals might end political ambitions, but "such things are less costly to the career of a movie star."
Who cares about Arnold? Poor Maria: "There are echoes, of course, of John Edwards in all of this, another politician who lied in order to maintain power and viability and, in the end, lost everything," says Kara Miller in The Boston Globe. The Clintons also come to mind. Like Hillary, Maria "stood by her man," but she went even further, publicly defending his actions during his campaign and putting aside her own noteworthy professional work at NBC to "indulge" her husband's political ambitions. That makes this latest political infidelity particularly shocking — and infuriating.
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