He may have spoken the words in his signature Austrian accent, but there was no mistaking, Arnold Schwarzenegger apologized to his ex-wife Maria for cheating on her with the family's maid.
In an advance clip of his interview with Leslie Stahl that will air on "60 Minutes" Sunday night, the "Collateral Damage" actor said of fathering a child with another woman, "I think it was the stupidest thing I've done in the whole relationship. It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids."
Noting the Kennedy clanswoman sacrificed her NBC news career for him when he ran for governor of California, Schwarzenegger asked rhetorically, "Was this just the most unbelievable act of betrayal to Maria?"
Revelations that the one-time hunk had an affair and sired a child with housekeeper Mildred Patricia Baena emerged in May 2011. Making the scandal even worse, Maria and and his extra-marital fling were pregnant at the same time, and he had kept his other child a secret from her for over a decade.
For many people, the successful body builder, actor and politician morphed from hero to scoundrel overnight.
Whether Schwarzenegger's apology is sincere or good business (he's promoting a new book) is hard to say, but royalties are likely not a big issue for the multi-millionaire, even after handing over a chunk of his fortune in the divorce.
The father of five is far from the first famous celebrity to say "I'm sorry" for betraying their beloved.
Recently, Kristen Stewart issued an apology for her affair with director Rupert Sanders. She told People, "I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry." After weeks of hand-wringing angst, the "Twilight" actress has reportedly reunited with her live-in boyfriend.
Three years ago, David Letterman apologized in his monologue for having an affair with one of his staffers. He noted his wife Regina Lasko was "horribly hurt by my behavior" and insisted such behavior was history. Unable to resist a little humor, however, he couldn't help adding, "Let me tell you folks, I got my work cut out for me." Remarkably, Letterman and Lasko have remained married since the affair scandal.
The talk show host's affair apology was delivered the same year as that of Tiger Woods, whose marriage did not survive his multiple cheating episodes with a harem of women. The athlete admitted his behavior was not up to par when he issued this statement from his official website, "I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart." Not surprisingly, the robotic words did not mend the rift between the golfing Romeo and his Swedish Juliet, Elin Nordegren.
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