The love child of former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been kept a secret for over a decade and may have benefited Schwarzenegger as well as Mildred Patricia Baena but not Maria Shriver, who has called the news painful and heartbreaking.
According to the birth certificate that TMZ.com has obtained, the boy Schwarzenegger fathered is now 14, his birthday dated Oct. 2, 1997.
The question now arises - how could it stay a secret for so long?
It could be true that Schwarzenegger was not told of the child until the boy became a toddler, after reportedly having unprotected sex in the late 1990s.
However, on the other hand, one can easily speculate that if Schwarzenegger did come to know of his love child when he was running for governor, obviously he would not have made it public as it would have jeopardized his chances of getting elected. If that is true, could Schwarzenegger have, for at least 10 years, maneuvered to hide the existence of the love child throughout all the spotlights and scrutiny during his political career?
The issue also draws Maria Shriver into focus - did Maria Shriver simply not know about her husband's secret for 25 years? or did she decide not to uncover the truth?
The mystery of Schwarzenneger's secret love child was unveiled to the public only after almost a week and a half after the couple announced their spilt on May 9 and only after Schwarzenegger left the Governor's Office.
Another interesting issue is did Schwarzenegger support his love child, financially or otherwise, after he came to know of the child's existence? And, if yes, is it possible that Shriver never came to know of it?
According to the New York Post, Mildred Patricia Baena and her son had moved to a $250,000 house on a Bakersfield cul-de-sac and the Post reported Baena's neighbor as hearing last year that Schwarzenegger was involved in the purchase.
Considering the average child support from affluent individuals such as former movie stars would amount to at least $15,000, Schwarzenegger's business manager would have been aware of the child, even if Shriver was not. And even if Schwarzenegger's business manager did know of the truth, he would have kept it a secret because it would have affected the Terminator star's credibility as a governor.
In conclusion, the billion dollar question is - who knew of the secret and when? We may never know but one thing is sure - whoever knew of the love child kept it a well hidden secret for at least a decade so as not to affect the political career of Schwarzenegger.
Hence it would not be surprising if it turns out that monetary interests were involved in the whole matter.