Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Still Think Schwarzenegger's Not a Serial Groper?

He's a liar, a cheater, a home-wrecker and a predator. No, I'm not referring to the 1987 sci-fi action pic he starred in, but more likely a sexual predator. After the explosive revelation this week that former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a love-child with a household employee about 13 years ago, it should erase all doubt about whether he in fact was guilty, as accused in 2005, of groping many women over the course of his 30-year bodybuilding and acting career.

Schwarzenegger's newest bombshell is not much of a shock in political circles, especially those out west. Rumors of affairs and children swirled around him during the 2005 campaign against incumbent Gov. Gray Davis. But those rumors were quickly dwarfed by the groping scandal in which fifteen women came forward with allegations of sexual attacks against them at gyms, movie sets, production facilities and elsewhere. Schwarzenegger and his camp vociferously denied the charges, and his wife Maria Shriver went to bat for him as well in what many experts believe was a campaign-saving defense. He went on to win the election and served two terms until 2011 when Jerry Brown became governor again after first serving in that office from 1975-1983.

So here's what happened: somewhere around 1988 Arnold had sex with the worker, Mildred Baena, now 50, and she became pregnant with his baby. She recently left the job after serving twenty years with the family. The affair, pregnancy and eventual birth of their son was kept secret from Shriver--who was said to be pregnant with her son Christopher at the same time as Baena--and the rest of the family until Schwarzenegger's recent revelation. He and Shriver officially announced their separation last week after twenty-five years of marriage. Apparently, this tawdry episode was chief among the reasons for the split.

It's easy to feel sympathetic towards Shriver, who's clearly dealing with a highly emotional, humiliating public scandal. No one likes to see anyone suffer like that, and my heart goes out to her and her five children. But I also can't help feeling for those fifteen women who her husband allegedly molested. Women whose reputations were attacked and whose lives were forever changed by the man Shriver so loyally defended as they both sought even more fame and power than they already had. You can't tell me that on some very visceral level Shriver did not know of or at the very least suspect the sort of lewd behavior of which Arnold was likely guilty. I'm not at all saying she's responsible for this new love-child scandal, but she certainly helped feed the beast. What goes around comes around.

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