MARIA SHRIVER stayed mum about cheating husband ARNOLD’s secret love child for FIVE years – because of pleas from her beloved UNCLE TEDDY KENNEDY.
Sources say that Maria learned the truth about her husband’s son with housekeeper Mildred Baena in 2006, but bravely held her tongue because Sen. Ted Kennedy “felt it would have been a disaster” for the family if Schwarzenegger had to resign in disgrace as California governor.
“Teddy was convinced Arnie had been seen as a member of the Kennedy clan for 20 years,” the source explains. “If he went down while governor of the nation’s biggest state, the family would bear the shame and dishonor with him.”
The Massachusetts senator felt they owed it to the next generation of Kennedy political hopefuls to avoid scandal – and he wanted Maria to sacrifice and keep quiet.
“Teddy felt if she waited until after he was out of office to blow the whistle, Arnie would just be thought of as a Hollywood actor behaving badly, not as a disgraced politician,” reveals the source.
The insider adds that, through family members, Ted made sure Maria got the message loud AND clear: Kennedy women stand by their men – no matter what!