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Video: Schwarzenegger scandal not to blame for approval slide

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    BRIAN WILLIAMS, anchor: Now we go to the West Coast . The fallout from yesterday's bombshell out of California , the revelation that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a member of the household staff. Time magazine has decided to broaden the topic this week, you might say. Very little ambiguity there. That's the first look at their new cover for the week. NBC 's Miguel Almaguer reports on what we learned about the situation today from Los Angeles .

    Unidentified Man #1: Arnold , any comment?

    Unidentified Man #2: How you feeling?

    MIGUEL ALMAGUER reporting: News Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child out of wedlock broke Tuesday morning. By late afternoon the scandal turned to focus on the family employee of 20 years, the mother of the former governor's now teenage child. In Bakersfield , 110 miles north of Los Angeles , media gathered in an upper middle class community for any sign of the mother. Neighbors say she was last seen here the day before the scandal broke.

    Unidentified Man #3: It's sadden because of the family and especially the young boy that's going to be caught up in all this.

    ALMAGUER: The former first family's private drama is unfolding in the most public way.

    Unidentified Woman: New details coming out about Arnold 's mess.

    Unidentified Man #4: We'll talk about Arnold Schwarzenegger . We'll talk about infidelity. We'll talk about sex.

    ALMAGUER: Birth certificates and property records are going scoured for the smallest details.

    Mr. HOWARD BRAGMAN (Crisis Relations Consultant): And the one thing I'll give the media credit for, they haven't run the pictures of the kids, but somebody will. That's the kind of world we live in.

    ALMAGUER: After Schwarzenegger and Shriver released separate statements Tuesday...

    Unidentified Man #2: How you feeling?

    Unidentified Man #5: Arnold , any comments?

    ALMAGUER: ...the former governor was spotted leaving his office without comment. Meanwhile, Shriver was in Chicago on stage with Oprah Winfrey . She never spoke of her husband's infidelity, but received a loud applause when the two spoke of honesty. At the state Capitol some lawmakers are asking for a full investigation into the former governor's conduct.

    Mr. ERIC BAUMAN (Los Angeles County Democratic Party Chair): I would like to know if there were any costs to the people of California or if any campaign funds might have been used to perpetuate this cover-up that's gone on lo these many years, the seven years that Schwarzenegger was governor of California .

    ALMAGUER: Experts say the former governor's political career may have already been over. He left state office with low approval ratings. Tonight, both he and Maria Shriver are asking for privacy. Brian , they say they will release no further statements.

    WILLIAMS: All right, Miguel Almaguer in Southern California tonight. Miguel , thanks.

msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 5/18/2011 3:57:22 PM ET 2011-05-18T19:57:22

The woman with whom former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had an affair — and fathered a child — some 14 years ago has been identified as Mildred Baena, according to reports.

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Baena was a housekeeper and assistant at the family's Brentwood estate for 20 years, and was reportedly pregnant at the same time as Maria Shriver.

Reports in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times do not identify Baena by name, but according to radaronline.com, sources confirm that she and her son are the ones identified in The Los Angeles Times article that broke the story.

NBC station KGET reported that Baena and her son now live in Bakersfield, about 100 miles north of Los Angeles. The child is "about 14 years old," The New York Times reported, noting that Schwarzenegger and Shriver's youngest child, Christopher, is 13.

Monday's announcement by the former governor stunned many, but it wasn't the first time Schwarzenegger has faced allegations of infidelity.

Rumors on the campaign trail
Eight years ago, whispers about an out-of-wedlock child reportedly raised eyebrows among advisers as then-actor Schwarzenegger traversed California in a bid to unseat Gov. Gray Davis.

In the final days of the race, the Schwarzenegger camp — aided in large part by Shriver's vociferous defense — fought back against what many saw as more credible allegations that the actor had groped women during his years as one of Hollywood's leading men.

Monday night, responding to questions from The Los Angeles Times, the former governor released a statement admitting the affair and child with his staffer. In a statement released Tuesday, Shriver, a former NBC News correspondent, asked for privacy.

"As a mother, my concern is for the children," she said. "I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment."

Video: Schwarzenegger hopes to regain family’s trust (on this page)

The news stunned many, but according to reports, it was no surprise to those who worked for Gov. Davis.

Garry South, a Democratic consultant in Los Angeles, told the New York Times that when the former actor indicated he may run for office, "there were rumors coming to us constantly about affairs and children." According to the same report, Schwarzenegger threatened to sue South, who worked for Gov. Davis at the time.

Peter Ragone, another former Davis adviser, told the New York Times: "There were all sorts of rumors flying around like this. Voters knew what they needed to know on this topic with Arnold Schwarzenegger, and honestly they just didn’t care."

A rocky legacy
Even before the admission, Arnold Schwarzenegger's political legacy in California was tenuous, at best.

He left the governor's office after seven years without making good on his central campaign promise to fix the state's budgeting system, then commuted the manslaughter sentence for the son of a political ally in one of his final official acts, drawing the condemnation of prosecutors and the family of a slain college student.

PhotoBlog: Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver in happier times

Now he's revealed to be the father of an out-of-wedlock child, a secret he kept during two gubernatorial terms.

After leaving office in January, the former Republican governor had for a time been angling for a role as some kind of international political spokesman, perhaps on environmental issues.

In April, he appeared at a Washington, D.C., forum on immigration hosted by President Barack Obama, but his grander plans for politics did not appear to be panning out, so Schwarzenegger lately has been trying to relaunch his career as a Hollywood action star.

No matter his accomplishments in office, Schwarzenegger may be best remembered as yet another philandering politician who got caught.

"It's over. There's no political future," said Patrick Dorinson, a Republican who worked on Schwarzenegger's 2003 campaign and in his administration early on. "I'm just disgusted. It's the only dang bipartisan thing these guys do — cheat on their wives. John Edwards, Arnold Schwarzenegger — tell me the difference."

However, producers of Schwarzenegger's upcoming Hollywood projects said they would not be affected by the news.

"The Governator", a collaboration between A2 Entertainment, Archie Comics and Stan Lee's Pow! Entertainment, has already sold into several foreign territories and awaits a U.S. network.

It stars Schwarzenegger as a superhero with a crime fighting lair beneath his Los Angeles house.

Schwarzenegger "creates a secret identity beneath his home — so secret that even his wife, Maria, and kids are unaware," says the press release for "The Governator", adding he is "a superhero living a double life, who's also a devoted family man who needs to make it home for dinner every night."

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Photos: Sex scandals and elected officials

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  1. David Wu

    Oregon Democratic Congressman David Wu speaks after a luncheon in Hillsboro, Ore, March, 7, 2011. Wu announced his resignation on July 24, 2011, amid political fallout from an 18-year-old woman's allegations she had an unwanted sexual encounter with him. The seven-term congressman was the subject of news stories of unusual behavior earlier in the year and several of his staff had resigned. (Don Ryan / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Anthony Weiner

    Rep. Anthony Weiner speaks during a press conference at a hotel in New York on June 6, 2011, where he admitted that he had communicated with women online before and after his marriage and sent them explicit photos. (Andrew Gombert / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Arnold Schwarzenegger

    Following the announcement of the couple's separation in 2011, Schwarzenegger said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff. In the photo, California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver greet supporters before he is sworn in for second term on January 5, 2007 in Sacramento, Calif. (Justin Sullivan / Getty Images file) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Chris Lee

    Left: House Speaker John Boehner, left, shakes hands with Rep. Chris Lee, alongside members of Lee's family during a mock swearing-in ceremony on Capitol Hill on Jan. 5, 2011. His wife, Michele, holds the bible and his son Johnathan, leans against his dad. Lee abruptly resigned his seat on Feb. 9, after a gossip web site, Gawker, reported that Lee had sent a shirtless photo of himself to a woman he met on Craigslist (right). Gawker.com printed a series of e-mails which the lawmaker apparently had exchanged with the woman, who asked not to be identified. (AP, Gawker) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Mark Sanford

    After going AWOL for seven days, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted on June 24, 2009 that he'd secretly flown to Argentina to visit a woman with whom he'd been having an affair. The married politician, who’s also a father of four, said he’d known the woman for eight years. "What I did was wrong. Period," he said. (Davis Turner / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. John Ensign

    On June 16, 2009, Sen. John Ensign announced that he had engaged in an extramarital affair with a campaign staffer who was then employed as one of his top aides. The senator said he disclosed the relationship after an attorney for the woman’s husband made "exorbitant demands for cash and other financial benefits." (Isaac Brekken / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. John Edwards

    In this image taken from video and released by ABC News, Bob Woodruff interviews John Edwards Friday, Aug. 8, 2008 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The former North Carolina senator, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, confessed to ABC News that he had lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter.

    At the time, he denied fathering a baby with Hunter, but on Jan. 21, 2009, he released a statement exclusively to NBC News admitting that was was indeed the father of Francis Quinn Hunter. (ABC News via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Eliot Spitzer

    New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, a Democrat, addresses reporters with his wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, at his office in New York, apologizing for a "private matter" but making no reference to a March 10, 2008, New York Times report linking him to a prostitution ring. Spitzer resigned later that week. (Shannon Stapleton / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Larry Craig

    Sen. Larry Craig, R-Idaho, pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after being arrested in June 2007 in a Minneapolis airport restroom. The undercover officer who arrested him said Craig tapped his feet and swiped his hand under a stall divider in a way that signaled he wanted sex. Craig appealed, arguing that the law is invalid. He insisted that his actions were misconstrued and that he is not gay. He said he pleaded guilty in hopes of resolving the matter quietly (Troy Maben / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. David Vitter

    Sen. David Vitter, R-La., acknowledged in July 2007 that his Washington phone number was among those called several years before by an escort service. The admission came after Hustler magazine told the senator that his telephone number was linked to the service. (J. Scott Applewhite / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Antonio Villaraigosa

    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, a Democrat, walks with Mirthala Salinas, then a reporter for Telemundo 52, on the north steps of the state Capitol in Sacramento in June 2006. Villaraigosa later acknowledged he was involved in a romantic relationship with Salinas. (Robert Durell / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Mark Foley

    Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., abruptly resigned in September 2006 after reports that he sent sexual messages to teenage male congressional pages. The Foley scandal helped Democrats gain control of the House of Representatives in the November 2006 elections. (Lawrence Jackson / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. James McGreevey

    Dina Matos McGreevey stands next to her husband, Gov. James McGreevey, a Democrat, as he announces his resignation during a 2004 news conference in Trenton, N.J. McGreevey admitted he is homosexual and had an extramarital affair with another man, Golan Cipel, pictured right. McGreevey later wrote a book, "The Confession," about his life; Dina Matos McGreevey also later wrote a book, "Silent Partner," about their marriage. (AP photos) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Jack Ryan

    Jack Ryan, a Republican, dropped out of the 2004 Senate race in Illinois when his wife, TV actress Jeri Lynn Ryan, filed divorce papers that alleged he had taken her to "bizarre clubs" and asked her to have sex in front of other people. Ryan denied that but acknowledged they went to one avant-garde club in Paris where they both felt creepy. Ryan's Democratic opponent, Barack Obama, easily won the Illinois seat. (Stephen J. Carrera / ASSOCIATED PRESS) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Bob Livingston

    Rep. Bob Livingston, R-La., was on the verge of becoming House speaker in 1998 when he acknowledged straying in his marriage. He resigned from Congress a couple of months later. (Khue Bui / AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Bill Clinton

    President Bill Clinton, a Democrat, gave evasive and misleading testimony under oath and publicly denied having sexual relations with former intern Monica Lewinsky, only to be forced into a humiliating reversal. He was impeached by the House and then acquitted in a 1999 Senate trial. (APTV file) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Bob Packwood

    Sen. Bob Packwood, R-Ore., resigned in 1995 amid allegations he made unwanted sexual advances to 17 female employees and colleagues, solicited jobs from lobbyists for his former wife, and altered his personal diaries to obstruct an ethics investigation. (Nathaniel Harari / Congressional Quarterly/Getty Im) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Barney Frank

    Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., was reprimanded by the House in 1989 for using his influence on behalf of male prostitute Stephen Gobie. Frank admitted paying Gobie for sex, hiring him with his own money as an aide and writing a letter on his behalf. Frank faced constituents at a meeting until they ran out of questions, acknowledging, "I did not handle the pressures of having a public life, of being a closeted gay man, nearly as well as I should have." He has won re-election ever since. (Terry Ashe / Time Life Pictures - Getty Image) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Gary Hart

    Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., was a front-runner for the 1988 Democratic presidential nomination when The Miami Herald reported he'd spent a night and a day with a young woman while his wife was away. Hart, who had challenged the press to check on rumors of philandering, initially denounced the report. But his liaison with Donna Rice, who had been photographed sitting on his lap near a yacht named "Monkey Business," sank his campaign. (Steve Liss / Time Life Pictures via Getty Ima) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Dan Crane

    Rep. Dan Crane, R-Ill., left, cries as he talks to reporters in 1983. Crane said he was sorry he hurt his family by having an affair with a 17-year-old congressional page. Rep. Gerry Studds, D-Mass., right, speaks to reporters on the steps of the Capitol. The House ethics committee cited Studds and Crane for misconduct for sexual activity with teen pages. (AP file photos) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Wilbur D. Mills

    Rep. Wilbur D. Mills, D-Ark., stands with Fanne Foxe, an exotic dancer. Mills sparked controversy in 1974 when police in Washington stopped his car for not having its headlights on. Although Mills was not driving, he was drunk, and Foxe jumped out of the car and into the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial. The episode caused Mills' downfall. (AP file) Back to slideshow navigation
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Timeline: Schwarzenegger and Shriver

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