Maria Shriver

Katherine Schwarzenegger talks life after parents' split

Aug. 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM ET

Harper's Bazaar /

Up until a few months ago, Katherine Schwarzenegger lived a fairly private life, despite being the daughter of Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But when her parents' split became news, things changed drastically for the 21-year-old.

Katherine, the oldest of the four Schwarzenegger kids, tells Harper's Bazaar, "Me and my siblings have never really been in the spotlight growing up. My parents always really sheltered us, so when [the separation] started happening, it was like everything came out of nowhere overnight."

Surrounded in the media by headlines about her family, Katherine told the magazine that she doesn't engage in any news about her family's personal life, whether it's true or not. "I see them, but I choose not to read the stories because I figure whether it's true or not, I don't need to," she said. "I just focus on my family and everyone being OK instead of following the gossip."

Living with the Schwarzenegger name wasn't easy even before her parents' split, and Katherine even thought about dropping her famous surname. "I thought of changing it because, especially for dating, it's impossible. It's something I deal with every day, and I am hyperconscious about it," Katherine said. "When I got to college, people -- much more guys than girls because girls don't give a crap about bodybuilding -- were coming up to me, and it would automatically jump to a conversation about my dad and weight lifting or how to do a proper bicep curl. It's like, 'Do you want to date my father, or do you want to date me? Like, I can arrange that for you.'"