Maria Shriver, Arnold Schwarzenegger

Reed Saxon-Pool/Getty Images

What else is there to know about Arnold Schwarzenegger's former mistress, besides, you know, her name (Mildred "Patty" Baena), their secret kid, and the fact that she likes to pose in gypsy belts in the middle of the road?

Well, plenty! You people just keep writing in with questions, so I now bring you definitive answers on this whole mess:

Why would Maria Shriver hire a divorce attorney if she hasn't decided whether to pursue a divorce?
—Lynx, via the inbox

Shriver needs legal advice regardless, particularly when it comes to money and access to her minor kids, Christopher and Patrick.

"She probably just wants to know what her rights are," says Sue Moss, a partner at matrimonial and family law firm Chemtob Moss Forman & Talbert.

For example, Shriver reportedly has moved away from the home she shares with her husband and kid, and that could backfire if a custody battle were to ensue.

"Should she be taking the kids out of the primary residence and have them stay with her? Should she be contacting Arnold and figuring out an access schedule? Those are the kinds of questions she's likely asking [and attorney], and should ask," Moss says.

I don't get it. It's not like Arnold is even that hot.
—Brownstone, via the inbox

Neither, really, was Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, or even John Edwards, when you think about it. That's never stopped ambitious women from leaping like salmon whenever a powerful man walks into a room. And look what such leaping may have earned Baena: her own house, if neighbors are to be believed.

Was it a crime for Baena to put the wrong father on birth certificate? Could Baena's ex sue?
—B.C., via the inbox

Here's what we know:

Baena did not list Schwarzenegger as the father of her son at the time of birth. And Schwarzenegger is indeed the father.

We also know that Baena and her estranged husband have said in court papers that they have no kids together. But that's all we know.

Attorneys tell me it's a felony to deliberately falsify documents like birth certificates, but what if Baena wasn't sure of the paternity at the time of birth? What if she really did think she was having her husband's baby at the time? The story is too muddy at this point to make assumptions.

Could Arnold face some sort of legal hot water for impregnating an employee? Is that even legal?
—Gabe, San Bernardino, via the inbox

It is not illegal to knock up a housekeeper per se. However, if Baena had wanted to go ahead with some sort of sexual harassment or discrimination suit, that time has likely long passed. According to Spencer Hamer of the law firm Michelson & Robinson, the statute of limitations for such complaints, at least, here in California, would be two years.

In what universe could Arnold and Maria not get a divorce at this point?
—Martini, via the inbox

Shockingly, this one. Remember, this is a woman who stuck by her man during those accusations of sexual misconduct years ago. And there's no indication that Shriver was ignorant about that tryst that Schwarzenegger had with Baena. She could have known. She could have taken a payoff from Schwarzenegger in exchange for her continuing public support.

That does happen, you know.

Still, divorce lawyers tell me, based on their experience, a divorce is likely in the offing. "You would think, considering the magnitude of these allegations, it would be pretty hard to stay in this marriage," says family law attorney Robert Brandt.

"It's possible, but also, given that the children are getting older, it wouldn't be surprising to see her seek a divorce."

Could Arnold ever go back to acting after this?
—Supergirl, via the inbox

If Rob Lowe could return to network television after that 1988 underage sex scandal, and if Mel Gibson can still get work after all these years of, well, being Mel Gibson, then, yes, someone will hire him.

Not that he's interested: Schwarzenegger has announced a hiatus from acting for the foreseeable future, regardless of whether Skynet becomes self-aware.

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share