Fact or Fiction? Why Arnold Schwarzenegger’s “Unbelievably True Life Story” is Maybe Just Unbelievable


Nearly a year-and-a-half after The Least Shocking Scandal in Hollywood or California Political History—that is, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s affair and love child with a longtime household staffer—came to light, the body builder-actor-governor has added yet another hyphenate to his list of personal accomplishments: memoirist. He’s released Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, an autobiography that details his marital transgressions and was propped up this week by an appearance by Schwarzenegger on CBS’ 60 Minutes.

Has the former governor acquired a belated sense of shame and placed “a fig leaf on his id,” as Los Angeles magazine writer-at-large Ed Leibowitz hoped he might following the demise of his marriage to Maria Shriver, in facing his past?

Not according to the Daily Beast’s A.L. Bardach, who penned a Los Angeles magazine story revealing Schwarzenegger’s secret dealings with the tabloid media in 2004. Sources tell Bardach that ambitious, image-conscious Schwarzenegger is still lying about the circumstances surrounding his extramarital affair with Mildred Baena and their child, using spin in place of facts to get what he really wants and has always wanted: meticulous control over the public persona that’s been, up until now, crucial to his success. Will he get it? On a recent check, Total Recall was the 14th best selling book at Amazon (ironically four spots below Bill O’Reilly and Martin Dugard’s Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot). But there are other voices that can tell his story, including one that is unlikely to come to Schwarzenegger’s defense today as in the past. “[Maria] Shriver may even have the last word,” writes Barcach. “She’s been offered a mega-million-dollar book deal, and according to one friend, she just might write her own account and finally set the record straight.”

Related: Taming the Hydra-Headed Carnivorous Tabloid Beast

Photograph courtesy wikipedia.org