LOS ANGELES — Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff, a revelation that apparently prompted wife Maria Shriver to leave the couple's home before they announced their separation last week.
Ms. Shriver separately issued a statement saying it was a "heartbreaking time," and two of their children, Patrick and Katherine, expressed their love for their family in separate Twitter messages.
Mr. Schwarzenegger, 63, and Ms. Shriver, 55, jointly announced May 9 that they were splitting up after 25 years of marriage. Ms. Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion earlier in the year after Mr. Schwarzenegger acknowledged that the child is his, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.
"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Mr. Schwarzenegger told the Times on Monday in a statement that was later sent to the Associated Press. "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.
"I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time," the statement concluded. "While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."
Hours later, Ms. Shriver also released a statement: "This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment."
In a Twitter posting Tuesday, Patrick Schwarzenegger, 17, wrote: "some days you feel [distraught], some days you want to quit and just be normal for a bit, yet i love my family till death do us apart." He signed his tweet "Patrick Shriver."
That was followed by a Twitter message from his sister, Katherine Schwarzenegger, 21.
"This is definitely not easy but I appreciate your love and support as i begin to heal and move forward in life," she wrote. "I will always love my family!"
The Times did not publish the former staffer's name or that of her child but said the woman worked for the family for 20 years and retired in January.
Mr. Schwarzenegger issued his statement to the Times late Monday, after the newspaper interviewed the former staffer. She had told the Times that another man — her husband at the time — was the child's father. When the Times later informed the woman of the governor's statement, she declined to comment further.
Mr. Schwarzenegger later released the statement to the AP and other news organizations.
The child was born before Mr. Schwarzenegger began his seven-year stint in public office.
Ms. Shriver stood by her husband during his 2003 gubernatorial campaign after the Times reported accusations that he had a history of groping women. Mr. Schwarzenegger later said he "behaved badly sometimes."
In public comments after the couple announced their breakup, Mr. Schwarzenegger said last week that he and Ms. Shriver "both love each other very much."
"We are very fortunate that we have four extraordinary children and we're taking one day at a time," he said at a Los Angeles event marking Israeli independence. Their children range in age from 13 to 21.