Actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger’s autobiography, Total Recall, is out this week, and guess what? Maria Shriver’s soon-to-be-ex is sorry for his affair with the family’s housekeeper, which resulted in a son born five days after the arrival of his fourth child with Shriver. The Sperminator kept the boy a secret for more than a decade, denying the child was his when his wife first had suspicions, and only telling her the truth last year. He has also ’fessed up to other affairs during their 25-year marriage. Schwarzenegger has publicly embraced blame: “There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused," he told the Los Angeles Times.
Click next for other creative excuses/explanations from more famously faithless mates eager to justify their transgressions.
Newt Gingrich was unfaithful to a brace of exes before he entered a third marriage swearing fidelity with a resolve as stiffened as wife Calista’s coif. His rationale for past behavior? “There’s no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate,” he told The Christian Broadcasting Network last year. Nothing gets a guy hornier than those late nights hammering out a soybean subsidy bill.
Two years ago, when ordained Baptist minister and vocal gay-rights opponent George Alan Rekers was caught returning from a European jaunt with a male prostitute, he had a perfectly reasonable explanation: He’d hired the young man to carry his luggage because he had a bad back. Reckers is divorced with grown children, so technically, he was only cheating on God. And we believe his bad-back story: The guy is obviously spineless.
Woody Allen never wed Mia Farrrow, but spent 12 years with the actress and her famously large brood, including a daughter, Soon-Yi, whom she had adopted with her former husband, composer-conductor Andre Previn. Farrow adopted two more children during her years with Allen, and the couple also had a biological son. Then Farrow discovered nude photos her lover had taken of Soon-Yi, then 20. Shame? Remorse? “The heart wants what it wants,” said Allen. No word on the wish lists of other organs.
In 2007, then-Idaho Senator Larry Craig was arrested by an undercover cop “on suspicion of lewd conduct” in an airport men’s room. The married Craig (who pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of disorderly conduct) insisted he wasn’t nudging the man in the next stall with his foot, or reaching for him under the stall. No, he said, he was just positioning his feet: “I’m a fairly wide guy.” Interesting stalling tactics.
Oscar Wilde left his wife at home with their two sons while he was out doing the Wilde thing with Lord Alfred Douglas. Instead of waxing witty about his man-izing, he used subjectivity as an esoteric defense: “Infidelity is an exhaustive subject that always falls short of words,” said Wilde, who died in 1900. “And whether it is acceptable or not, depends on the perception of an individual.”
Actress Kristen Stewart, caught last summer stepping out on live-in love and Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, issued a public apology for her dalliance with married director Rupert Sanders: “This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob…I’m so sorry." The most interesting thing about the mea culpa: the dis of the guy she cheated with.
Tiger Woods was playing a round, then playing around. The serial cheater, who entered rehab for an alleged sexual addiction, explained his infidelity to wife Elin Nordegren at a press conference: "I knew my actions were wrong. But I convinced myself that normal rules didn't apply…I felt that I had worked hard my entire life and deserved to enjoy all the temptations around me. I felt I was entitled… I was wrong. I was foolish. I don't get to play by different rules.” Penalty strokes ensued.
We think literature’s three most awesome adulteresses have pretty plausible excuses for their misdeeds, but whoa, did they suffer the consequences. A rueful shout-out to Emma “The Boredom of Provincial Life Made Me Do It” Bovary; Hester “I Thought My Husband Was Shipwrecked And Besides It’s Cold in Salem” Prynne; and Anna “My Husband’s a Stiff, My Social Role is Restrictive, and I Love a Man in Uniform” Karenina (Keira Knightley as the latest film Anna, left).
Caught cavorting with a prostitute, disgraced New York Governor Eliot Spitzer told a reporter, "You gotta say this was an act of stupid hubris." More interesting was the assessment of Rutgers anthropologist Helen Fisher. In a segment of Today, she noted that the mess was his own doing, but added, "All you have to do is look at Eliot Spitzer. He has a high cheekbone and low brow ridges. Those are signs of very high testosterone."