Arnold Schwarzenegger takes full accountability talking about his divorce in new interview
“It was my f— up. It was my failure.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger is sort of having a moment of life imitating art, but in this case it would be the other way around. The action star, turned governor before going back to acting, is staring in a new Netflix series, "FUBAR" and the storyline feels very...familiar. It's an action-comedy about a husband who had an affair and is attempting to win his wife back.
If you don't understand the connection, let me spell it out. Schwarzenegger was married to Maria Shriver for 25 years when she filed for divorce after finding out he not only had an affair with their housekeeper, but fathered a child. The child in question was a teenager when Shriver put the pieces together and confronted the housekeeper about her suspicions.
But unlike Schwarzenegger's character, Luke, in "FUBAR," the former California governor acknowledged his actions as the catalyst to the demise of his marriage.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter about his new Netflix series Schwarzenegger joked, "it feels like it's a documentary."
Except the truth of the matter is, Schwarzenegger wasn't shy about taking immediate accountability when the news first broke. He apologized to his then wife and didn't avoid hard questions when interviewers asked him about his affair. Taking accountability can be hard because you have to admit that you did something that caused someone else pain and actively work to do better in the future.
Celebrities and government officials aren't immune to making mistakes. They're all human, but their mistakes involve intense public scrutiny and reminders of their screw up on the covers of magazines. Which, if we're being honest here, that would make anyone want to tuck their head in the sand until everything blows over. So it's not surprising that when some celebrities apologize it feels forced and lacks accountability.
This is why Schwarzenegger's openness and willingness to own past missteps is a master class on how to take accountability. In his interview with The Hollywood Reporter he explained the difference between his real life and his character.
"The difference is, in the show, he doesn’t consider it cheating because [seducing CIA assets] was part of his profession," Schwarzenegger told the outlet. "But in [my real-life marriage to Shriver], it was my f----up. It was my failure."
Even when the news of Schwarzenegger's secret child were making the press rounds, the actor was candid.
In a 2014 interview with the Los Angeles Times, he openly took responsibility for his actions, “I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.”
The star has had his share of missteps outside of his marriage as well, which he also took accountability for and has worked to make positive changes. His willingness to continually work to improve and own up to his mistakes is likely something that helps maintain his friendship with Shriver. While he spoke highly of his girlfriend, Heather Milligan, a physical therapist, he made it a point to acknowledge his relationship with his wife when speaking to THR.
"I love my wife. 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," Schwarzenegger said before joking that he and Shriver should get an Oscar for how to handle divorce.
If you want to catch the "Terminator" in his new show, "FUBAR," it releases on Netflix May 25, and his documentary about his life titled, "Arnold," will be available June 7 on the same streaming service.
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