They became close over bodybuilding even though the root of their relationship is complicated.
In May 2011, the media was buzzing with Arnold Schwarzenegger and his act of disloyalty. He publicly admitted to cheating on his then-wife Maria Shriver with his housekeeper Mildred Baena. That wasn't all; Schwarzenegger was also the father of Baena's child.
The former governor's infidelity was kept under the wraps for years but things started to change as his love child, Joseph Baena, got older. In Mildred's very first interview with Hello! Magazine after the reveal, she said, “It was as Joseph grew and I started to see the resemblance that I wondered – but it became more apparent as time went on.”
She believed that her son knew Schwarzenegger was his father. “I knew Arnold was the father, and maybe as Joseph got older and began to look like him, he [Arnold] wondered. But he never said anything to me.”
The Terminator actor and journalist Maria Shriver were married for 25 years and had four children together before the 14-year-old secret was disclosed. It left Shriver heartbroken since she was the only person who never doubted her husband's loyalty when questions about his misbehavior were thrown at her during his run as governor of California.
According to CNN, she had said in a speech to a Republican women's group in Orange County, "I wouldn't be standing here if this man weren't an A-plus human being... I wouldn't be doing any of this if I didn't believe in this man," eventually to be disappointed. She left the house right after Schwarzenegger confessed his sins to her, after his term as the governor ended.
Mildred told Hello! that Shriver had an idea about her and Schwarzenegger's illicit relationship because of the whispers inside the house. “She would say things like, 'I’m here if you need to talk' and I sensed something was up. I have so much love and respect for Maria. Finally, she asked point-blank.”
She added, “She was so strong. She cried with me and told me to get off my knees. We held each other and I told her it wasn’t Arnie’s fault, that it takes two.”
In 2012, the bodybuilder told 60 Minutes that he didn't realize that Joseph was his son until he turned 7 or 8. On the other hand, Joseph was excited to build a relationship with the actor. In 2010, when his grandmother revealed the identity of his father, he exclaimed, "Cool."
Years later, the resemblance between the two is astonishing. Joseph is the spitting image of Schwarzenegger in the glorious days of his bodybuilding career. Not only does he look like him, but shares the love for the sport.
The 22-year-old has created a fan base for himself on Instagram with more than 130,000 followers with his workout pictures and videos. According to Remezcla, Joseph, also known as “Arnold 2.0" can be seen working out with Schwarzenegger at Gold’s Gym in Los Angeles.
The Predator actor had told Men's Journal that he has managed to maintain a healthy relationship with his son and it sure does look like it. Remezcla reported that Schwarzenegger wishes Joseph to be a part of the politician and actor's international sports festival, The Arnold Classic Worldwide. The festival includes competitions for bodybuilding, combat, and more.
Joseph has always been open about his bond with his father. While some might think it to be strained, the hunk's statements prove otherwise. In an interview with Hollywood Life, the aspiring actor said, “It’s great! I love my dad! We hang out all the time! He is a great father! That’s really all I have to say about him! We train together, we eat together. We do many things together.”
The Pepperdine University graduate also seems to value his father's dedication towards his work and his advice. He told Hollywood Life, "I have nothing bad to say about my father,” he continued, "I love him! He is a jokester! He can be intense sometimes. He knows how to get things done. If he needs to get things done, he is going to get things done. He is serious about his work and what he does.”
Talking about the best advice he's ever got from his father he said that the True Lies actor always asks him to put in his 100 percent. He explained, "Leave nothing. No regrets that I didn’t put enough effort in. I think that was huge for me!”
He gushed about his girlfriend getting the actor's approval as well. “Ah, he loves her! He thinks she is beautiful of course,” he raved. “He thinks she is a real go-getter! And I agree! We all love Nicky!” reported Hollywood Life.
Schwarzenegger, who realizes that cheating on Shriver was "a major, major screw-up," admitted that the situation was tough for his family after the news of his affair came out, but things had settled. He said, "So, it all has worked out … It’s a very tough situation for him. It’s a very tough situation for my kids. Very tough situation for my family. It was tough for everybody. But it has happened and now we have to figure it out, right?" reported the Daily Mail.
The actor took to his Instagram to celebrate Joseph's birthday in 2016, officiating their mended relationship. According to Hola Magazine, he shared a picture of the duo toasting at Octoberfest and wrote, "Happy birthday, Joseph. Great student, great athlete. I’m proud of you and I love you!”