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Maria Shriver files for divorce

She moves to end her 25-year marriage to former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, citing 'irreconcilable differences' and seeking joint custody of their two teenage sons.

July 02, 2011|By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times
  • Schwarzenegger and Shriver meet with the media after voting in Brentwood in 2006.
Schwarzenegger and Shriver meet with the media after voting in Brentwood… (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)

Maria Shriver filed for divorce Friday, moving to end her 25-year marriage to Arnold Schwarzenegger just weeks after the former governor publicly acknowledged fathering a child with a member of their household staff.

Shriver cited "irreconcilable differences" and requested joint custody of their two minor children.

The formal filing was met with little surprise: In May, the two announced they were separating, with Shriver moving out of the family's Brentwood mansion. That news was followed by the bombshell that the former movie star had fathered a child with a former employee who had worked for the family for most of Schwarzenegger and Shriver's marriage.

Shriver's petition sets up the end of the unlikely pairing of an Austrian-born bodybuilder and a member of America's most famous political clan. Together, the two reached the heights of professional success, with Shriver becoming a top TV news reporter and Schwarzenegger parlaying his bodybuilding success into action films, then politics.

Photos: Arnold and Maria over the years

A spokesman for the former governor declined to comment. Representatives for Shriver could not be reached Friday afternoon.

The two have four children together. Their two adult daughters are both in college. Their two sons are still minors, one 17, the other 13. According to their older son's Twitter feed, Shriver was with him in Greece for the Special Olympics this last week.

Along with a request for joint custody of their sons, Shriver's filing stipulated that some property would be considered separate, including miscellaneous jewelry and earnings made after the pair separated.

After questions from The Times, Schwarzenegger acknowledged his out-of-wedlock child, releasing a statement that said he told Shriver about the child after leaving office.

The two had had previous challenges in their marriage. During Schwarzenegger's run for governor in 2003, more than a dozen women accused him of sexual misconduct, including allegations of groping, which he initially denied. When he later apologized and conceded that "where there's smoke, there's fire," Shriver remained by his side.

After winning his initial campaign, Schwarzenegger had to spend much of each week in Sacramento. After his reelection, he began regularly flying home to Brentwood in the evenings to be with Shriver and their children.

When the two announced their separation in May, they acknowledged they were living apart "while we work on the future of our relationship." But in recent weeks, their marriage and Schwarzenegger's out-of-wedlock child have become fodder for tabloids and traditional news outlets alike.

Each public appearance and statement has been parsed. Even their son Patrick's Twitter feed drew headlines when he updated his followers about his parents' separation: "Appreciate all your messages. Small speed bump I'n life, luckily we own hummers, we will cruise right over it. All will be okay."

Photos: Arnold and Maria over the years

robert.faturechi@latimes.com

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