Shriver files for divorce after 25-year marriage

Posted: July 02, 2011

LOS ANGELES - Six weeks after Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed he had fathered a child out of wedlock, his wife, Maria Shriver, filed divorce papers Friday to end their marriage of 25 years.

The former television journalist and Kennedy family heir cited irreconcilable differences but offered no additional details about the breakup. She also did not list a date when the couple separated, although they announced they had done so on May 9.

A week later, the former action star and former governor admitted he fathered a child with a member of his household staff years ago.

Shriver's filing does not indicate the couple have a prenuptial agreement, which likely means Schwarzenegger's earnings from his career as a Hollywood megastar will be evenly divided with his estranged wife.

She is seeking spousal support, but any amount would be determined later, either through a settlement agreement or by a judge. The former couple's breakup is expected to be handled mostly behind closed doors.

Several of Schwarzenegger's biggest hits, including Predator, True Lies, and the blockbuster sequel Terminator 2 were made during his marriage to Shriver.

Shriver was an award-winning TV journalist but put her career on hold when Schwarzenegger ran for governor.

Economic-disclosure forms filed when Schwarzenegger left as California governor in January show he has interests in at least eight entities each worth $1 million or more. An exact tally of his wealth is impossible to calculate.

The forms show the Terminator star still retains rights to intellectual property from his days as a fitness guru and movie star.

Shriver's holdings are more modest but are listed in the disclosure as being worth more than $1 million. She is a member of the Kennedy family and is a beneficiary of some of its assets, and also owns rights and royalties from her work as an author, the filings show.

In recent months, Shriver has appeared in videos posted on YouTube in which she talks about stress in her life, the weight of expectations, and the search for faith in a troubled world.

She signed her divorce petition roughly two weeks ago, but her attorney filed it Friday afternoon.

Shriver and Schwarzenegger were married in 1986 and have four children together, including two sons who are still minors. Shriver's petition seeks joint custody of the teens, who are 17 and 13.

Schwarzenegger spokesman Adam Mendelsohn declined comment. Shriver attorney Laura Wasser did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

Shriver stood by her husband's side as he ran for California's governorship in 2003, even after the Los Angeles Times reported accusations by several women that they had been groped by the movie star. Schwarzenegger, who later said he "behaved badly sometimes," was twice elected to the governorship.

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