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How Did Arnold Schwarzenegger Keep His Secret Kid So Totally Secret?

How did Arnold Schwarzenegger keep an illegitimate child secret for 10 years? How did no one know about him or her? --Dena S., via Facebook
/ Source: E!online

How did Arnold Schwarzenegger keep an illegitimate child secret for 10 years ? How did no one know about him or her? --Dena S., via Facebook

You'd think that a baby who looked like Arnold would trigger at least a few stares, if not a suspicion that Skynet had begun sending robo-infants from the future to kill us all.

Still, celebrities use an array of diabolical methods to keep their secret spawn out of the spotlight:

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And I know them all, thanks to Bob Nachshin, a family law attorney who has repped many a famous face.

"I have many clients who have children from other relationships that their wives and children know nothing about. I would say it occurs in one of four divorces I handle. In many of those cases, they only people who know about the baby are me, my client and the mother who is getting child support."

That's right: 25 percent of his divorces. And remember, Nachshin specializes in high-profile entertainment industry clientele. The kind of people we at E! write about. Every day.

So how are all those Hollywood crypto-babies kept under swaddling?

Well, don't think the payoffs end with child support. If you assume that most celebrity baby mamas are being paid a little something extra just to stay silent, "you're probably right," Nachshin dishes.

(To be fair, whether The Inseminator himself did that isn't known. In fact, little is actually confirmed about who knew what inside the Schwarzenegger compound. "We don't really know whether Maria knew, and if Maria knew five years ago, one year ago--we only know what we're told.")

What other methods may have kept Schwarzenegger's now 10-year-old child out of the news? Well, let's start with legal threats. Never, ever underestimate a celebrity's willingness to abuse the law.

If a celebrity suspects that a reporter is about to go public with a baby scoop, "you can always just threaten to sue, sue them on grounds that it's not true," Nachshin says.

You read that right: Even if the baby news is true, most media outlets can't afford to defend their correct choice in a multi-million-dollar lawsuit, and so they cave to this kind of slimy bullying. It happens all the time, and not just with baby mama stories. Could have happened at one point with Schwarzenegger, or not.

"People sue for many reasons," Nachshin explains. "People don't care what the facts are; they get a lawyer to march forward with this lie."

Lastly, there's always good old-fashioned cash money. If a friend or former employee threatens to take the baby public, a star can always discreetly write a check.

How much does silence go for these days?

"I would say, minimum, a hundred thousand dollars."

I chose the wrong profession. I need to go into the baby-spying business.

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