Former California governor and once-and-future actor Arnold Schwarzenegger released a statement to the Los Angeles Times on the evening of May 16 offering "no excuses" for having fathered a child with a member of his household staff and keeping it a secret from his wife Maria Shriver for nearly 10 years. The revelation that Schwarzenegger—who has been trailed by accusations of having groped women while still an actor married to Shriver—had a child with an employee is less shocking than the bluntness and clarity of his message to the Times.
There is really nothing to celebrate here. But Schwarzenegger has been savvy about his image and its apprehension by the media since his bodybuilding days. He must have looked around and seen how other politicians, athletes and celebrities have handled their falls from grace, as they issued equivocal half-apologies that put the onus on those who have been offended. Schwarzenegger cut to the chase, and immediately went into rehabilitation mode by owning up to what he'd done.
"I understand and deserve the feelings of anger among my friends and family," he said in the statement to the L.A. Times. "There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused."
And then comes the masterpiece: "While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."
He's saying, in effect, "Despite my awful behavior, I love my family and I'm tough enough to take the heat." It sure sounds a lot better than "I want my life back."
Don't worry about Schwarzenegger—he'll be back.