Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff.
"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said in a statement to the press.
"I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry," he said.
"I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time," he concluded. "While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."
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The unnamed staff member worked for Schwarzenegger's family for 20 years and retired in January. Shriver declined to comment.
The child was born before Schwarzenegger began his seven-year stint in the governor's office.
Schwarzenegger and Shriver jointly announced May 9 that they were splitting up after 25 years of marriage.
Shriver had already moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion earlier this year after her husband admitted to her the child was his, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
In his first public comments since the couple announced their breakup, Schwarzenegger said last week that he and Shriver "both love each other very much."
"We are very fortunate that we have four extraordinary children and we're taking one day at a time," he said. Their children range in age from 13 to 21.