Arnold Schwarzenegger says his lifelong penchant for secrecy and ability to put his emotions "on deep freeze" led him to keep many secrets from his wife, eventually causing the break-up of their marriage when he was forced to admit he fathered a child with the family's housekeeper.
Throughout their strained 25-year marriage, Arnie said he did not want to tell Maria Shriver about crucial life decisions because he feared she would overreact and tell her well-connected family and friends. Maria filed for divorce in July.
In his new autobiography, Total Recall: My Unbelievably True Life Story, and in an interview on the TV news magazine 60 Minutes, the former California governor acknowledges that his inability to be honest with people had hurt those closest to him.
"That's the way I handle things," Arnie told reporter Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes.
The former Mr Universe traces his detachment to his bodybuilding days, where he says emotions make athletes lose.
But his biggest secret, the child he had with the family's housekeeper, became tabloid news last year after he left office. Maria confronted her husband during a January 2011 counselling session and he finally acknowledged the boy, Joseph, was his.
He tells Stahl he never even had a conversation with the housekeeper, Mildred Baena, about the son. Instead, after he began noticing the boy's strong resemblance to him, around the age of eight, he just began giving Ms Baena extra money.
He declined to say whether he has a relationship with the child, who is now about 15, and he said he did not want to go into any more details about his relationship with Ms Baena because he had already caused his ex-wife and their four children enough pain.
There were other deceptions, too, including a "hot affair" with Danish actress Brigitte Nielsen while filming the 1985 action film Red Sonja, when he and Maria were living together. He admitted other affairs, but told Stahl they were "something that's obviously between Maria and me".