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“Last summer, I brought Joseph over to the house … and people in the house started whispering about how much they looked like each other.” – Mildred Patricia Baena on her love child with Arnold Schwarzenegger

Among those noticing the resemblance? Maria Shriver.

“Maria would ask if I needed to talk to her… I kept saying no. Finally, she asked point blank,” Baena told Hello! regarding the moment Shriver learned that Schwarzenegger impregnated their staff member more than a decade ago.

Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger
Photo via Getty Images for CinemaCon

“Maria asked me directly if Joseph was Arnold’s son, and I just broke down  crying, saying that yes he was and I was so sorry,” she recalls.

Hearing the news, Maria was surprisingly compassionate and kind. “She cried with me and told me to get off my knees,” she says of Shriver.

“Since I was retiring soon, I said I’d pack and leave right away,” says Mildred “Patty” Baena, “but she said to stay until after the holidays.”

Schwarzenegger’s reaction? Baena says she never told Arnold directly that Joseph was his, but for the 13-year-old, the reaction was simple:

“Cool!” he said.

It’s fortunate, in the silver lining sense, that the youngster never had a strong male presence or father figure in his life in the first place.

Putting yourself in his shoes, having an absentee non-dad (sorry, Rogelia Baena) replaced by Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t the worst thing.

As for Maria Shriver, it doesn’t surprise us that she would handle even the most difficult situation with the class and dignity she’s known for.