How Maria, Arnold's Kids Are "Banding Together" to Support Mom

Celebrity News May. 20, 2011 AT 10:35AM
How Maria, Arnold's Kids Are "Banding Together" to Support Mom Credit: FAME PICTURES

Three days after Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted he fathered a child with a household staffer, his four children are rallying around their mom, Maria Shriver, as she comes to terms with the shocking news.

PHOTOS: Maria hangs with Oprah Winfrey hours after news broke

"The kids are all banding together to support their mom right now and they're doing their best to stay out of the spotlight," a Schwarzenegger family source tells Us Weekly of Katherine, 21, and Christina, 19, Patrick, 17, and Christopher, 13.

While the former California governor's wife of 25 years struggles to maintain a brave face, her kids seek comfort in oldest sibling Katherine, who frequently acted as a "second parent" while Schwarzenegger was away on the campaign trail.

PHOTOS: Famous political families

"Katherine is really upset about this and how her mom is right now," the family source adds. "It's tense because the kids need a sounding board just as much as Maria does but it's difficult to go to their mom for questions in a time like this. Everyone feels really betrayed and embarrassed that it's out in the open. Not for their dad's sake but for Maria."

Older brother Patrick admitted on Tuesday that he was suffering from his family drama. "Some days you feel like sh--, some days you want to quit and just be normal for a bit, yet I love my family till death do us apart," he Tweeted.

VIDEO: A look back at Arnold and Maria's marriage

"You have no idea how humiliating this is for her," one Shriver pal told Us when news broke of Schwarzenegger's fifth child, a boy who may have been born within weeks of Christopher. (The boy's mother is said to be the family's former housekeeper/assistant Mildred Patricia Baena.)

"[Maria] spent a lot of time ... defending Arnold's character...She had no idea about the child," says the pal.

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