While Maria Shriver is no doubt decompressing (and lawyering up) after the shock of husband Arnold Schwarzenegger's infidelities, close friends of Maria's tell me the pain goes much deeper than what's being reported.
"He completely betrayed Maria," says a Shriver colleague and friend, who shares many common interests with the famous Kennedy daughter. "And I'll tell you what hurt her the most..."
"Do you realize," asks the Shriver pal and confidante, "that this means when Arnold was standing by her side through mother's death—and then her father's death—he was concealing this [affair and love child] from her, too?"
Eunice Kennedy Shriver died Aug. 11, 2009, and Sargent Shriver died Jan. 18 of this year.
The Shriver friend says both she, as well as other Maria girlfriends, consider this the cruelest cut of all—because Schwarzenegger knew well how dearly Shriver idolized and "adored" both her parents.
"And to have lied to her through that that difficult time, to have just gone through the motions like that," blasts the Shriver source, "is unforgivable. She was very upset over that. My God, she still is."
Also irking Maria's set—greatly—is the amount of support (at the cost of her own TV career) Maria lent Arnold when he ran for governor in 2003.
"Not only did she give up her own career to help him," another Shriver friend complained, regarding her resignation from her Dateline NBC job to officially become California's first lady, "but, she got him elected, remember?"
This is not far from the truth.
When Schwarzenegger ran for his first term as governor, the Los Angeles Times (as well as this columnist) began writing what some of us behind the scenes had known for many years: that Schwarzenegger's character was questionable—at best—and that the Austrian muscle-builder had a long history of treating women bady.
"Unless Maria stood by that man's side and played the good wife," claims this Shriver friend (who's also strongly politically active), "I guarantee you he would not have been elected. There were too many questions about him."
Well, hindsight is always 20/20, right? Would California, which seemed pretty much to have been blind-sided by Schwarzenegger's movie-star appeal, have elected him if Maria hadn't of so dutifully stumped for him?
We'll never know.