Maria Shriver visited convent after Schwarzenegger divorce – a look back at their high profile split

Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Maria Shriver and Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Photo: George Pimentel/WireImage/Getty Images
  • Maria Shriver says she went to a convent after her split from Arnold Schwarzenegger, saying she wanted "to be in silence and look for advice".
  • Shriver filed for divorce in 2011 after 25 years of marriage and welcoming four children with the actor turned former California governor.
  • Soon after their split, news broke of Schwarzenegger's affair with the family housekeeper, with whom it was revealed he welcomed a son, Joseph Baena.

Maria Shriver is opening up about the time following her explosive split from Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The couple married in 1986 and had four children together: daughters Katherine, 33, and Christina, 31, and sons Patrick, 29, and Christopher, 25. They were married 25 years when Shriver filed for divorce in 2011 as news of Schwarzenegger's affair made headlines.

Shriver tells the Making Space with Hoda Kotb podcast she visited a cloistered convent after the couple's split "to be in silence and look for advice" – and the experience was like "a scene out of The Sound of Music".

"The Reverend Mother there said to me at the very end, she said - and I actually have written about this, but I haven't shared - she said, 'I think you came here looking for permission,'" Shriver said before referencing Julie Andrews' role in The Sound of Music. "She says, 'You can't come live here, but you do have permission to go out and become Maria.' I was, like, sobbing."

"I had never given myself permission to feel, to be vulnerable, to be weak, to be brought to my knees, and the world did it to me."

The high-profile divorce of the journalist and actor turned former governor of California revealed an affair between Schwarzenegger and the couple's family housekeeper, Mildred Baena.

In 2011, after news of the couple's split, the world soon learned Schwarzenegger had welcomed a son, Joseph, with Baena.

In 2022, actor and bodybuilder, following in his famous father's footsteps, Joseph Baena, would open up about the world learning of his parents' affair, telling Men's Health: "I'm 13. Your body's transforming; your mind is transforming. And now my life transformed before my eyes."

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