Arnold Schwarzenegger Explains Why He Won't Talk About His Affair in New Book: 'I Blew My Family Up'

Schwarzenegger's self-help book offers lessons from his wide-ranging career, but there are some things he won't touch.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is leaving some stones unturned in his new book, Be Useful. The 76-year-old actor and former politician writes that he "won't be rehashing" the details of his marital troubles for the new release, instead choosing to praise his ex-wife for her commitment to their family. 

"I blew up my family," Schwarzenegger writes. "No failure has ever felt worse than that."

Be Useful: The Seven Tools For Life is Schwarzenegger's self-help book based on his career as a bodybuilder, actor, politician and everything in between. Part of his advice, though, is to know when it's time to stop sharing. 

Of his relationship woes, he adds, "I won't be rehashing that story here. I've told it before in other places, and other places have told it multiple times. All of you know the story. If you don't, you've heard of Google, and you know how to find it." 

Schwarzenegger's ex-wife, Maria Shriver, filed for divorce in 2011 after the news of Schwarzenegger's affair with the family's housekeeper, Mildred Baena, came to light. Schwarzenegger fathered a son, Joseph Baena, as a result of the affair. He does not mention the affair explicitly in the book, instead alluding to it through these references to failing his family. 

"I've hurt my family enough, and it's been a long road to repair those relationships," he writes. "I will not turn them into fodder for the gossip machine." 

He continues by saying that "by the end of that year, I had found myself in a place that was both familiar and foreign. I was at the bottom. I'd been here before. But this time, I was face down in the mud, in a dark hole, and I had to decide whether it was worth it to clean myself up and start the climb out, or just give up." 

Schwarzenegger and Shriver have remained amicable since their split, and he later goes on to praise Shriver, noting that she "stood by my side" for decades and adding that "to this day, [she] is such a fantastic mother to our children." The former couple shares Katherine Schwarzenegger, 33, Christina Schwarzenegger, 32, Patrick Schwarzenegger, 30, and Christopher Schwarzenegger, 26.

The actor also thanks his current partner, Heather Milligan, writing that she "has been my partner and confidante" for the last decade, "there with me through ups and downs." 

Despite keeping mum in the new book, Schwarzenegger has opened up elsewhere about his affair and the toll it took on Shriver and his family. In his Netflix docuseries, Arnold, he touched on the scandal and spoke about his relationship with Shriver in an interview for The Hollywood Reporter

"[The divorce] was very, very difficult in the beginning. She and I are really good friends, and very close and we are very proud of the way we raised our kids, even though we had this drama, we did Easter together, Mother's Day together, the Christmases together, all birthdays -- everything together," he shared. "If there's Oscars for how to handle divorce, Maria and I should get it for having the least amount of impact on the kids."   

More recently, Schwarzenegger exchanged several quips about his past mistakes with Rob Lowe in an ET exclusive preview of Lowe's SiriusXM podcast, Literally!. In the clip, Schwarzenegger says, "Let the story be told that since I got divorced from Maria, you haven't been around much." 

Lowe responds, "I think she got custody." 

"You wanted to prove to her that you're loyal to her and not to me. So, because even though we didn't have any of those things, we always had friends that were loyal to me and to her, and they didn't get involved in all of this stuff," Schwarzenegger tells Lowe. "But I mean, you did. It was like unbelievable how all of a sudden I said to Maria, 'Why is Rob not showing up?'"

Claiming that Lowe repeatedly said he'd come over to smoke cigars with him, Schwarzenegger adds that it had been "years" since Lowe had stopped by, saying it took a podcast to get them back together. 

"We had a lot of fun. And you came over to the house all the time. I kind of missed all that stuff," Schwarzenegger admits. "But you know, maybe eventually you're gonna wake up and say, you know, 'I can hang out with Arnold again and Maria's not gonna decapitate me.'"

Lowe laughs off the claims with the clip cutting out before he's able to respond. 

Schwarzenegger's full episode of Literally! airs Thursday, Oct. 12.  Be Useful: The Seven Tools For Life is on bookshelves now. 


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