How Maria Shriver Found Out About Arnold Schwarzenegger’s Love Child

 Dr. Billy Ingram/; Thomas Concordia/

Thank goodness for girlfriends!

In the days since news broke that Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a child with a former household staffer, the actor's wife has sought solace in good friends Oprah Winfrey and Gayle King.

In fact, Shriver, 55, dined with the pair of Chicago BFFs Monday just hours before news of her husband's indiscretions made national news. And it was at Chicago's RL restaurant, King told Bravo Watch What Happens Live host Andy Cohen, where Shriver received an unsettling phone call that the scandal was about to break.

"She knew that it was coming out the day before," King, 54, said of Shriver, her former coworker at Baltimore's WJZ TV station. "She had gotten a call about it but she knew before she came to dinner."

Instead of going into hiding, Shriver made the brave decision to take part in Winfrey's star-studded talk show send-off, held at Chicago's United Center Tuesday night. Donning a teal blue gown to appear in a segment with King honoring Winfrey, Shriver praised the talk show legend for her love of education.

"Not only did she come, she came, she showed up, she did the part," King told Cohen on his Thursday Watch What Happens Live broadcast. "At one point in the script, she's thanking Oprah for wisdom and truth, and she paused a little bit. What was so great is the whole audience — 13,000 people — applauded. It was sort of like a lifting of Maria. It was an electrifying moment."

King is confident her pal will continue to hold her head up high as she plots her next move.

"[Maria's] a class act and she's handling it with such grace, trying to figure out what to do…how to help the children through. It's just a very difficult time and heartbreaking to see," King told Cohen. "The more [I] hear about the story, the sicker I get."

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