Mildred Baena Describes Maria Shriver's Reaction to Love Child News

06/14/2011 at 11:20 AM EDT

Maria Shriver, Mildred Baena Embraced During Revelation of Arnold's Son Joseph
Mildred Baena (left) and Maria Shriver
Pacific Coast News; Chelsea Lauren/FilmMagic
When Joseph Baena, now 13, first learned from his mother, housekeeper Mildred Baena, that his father was Arnold Schwarzenegger, the boy's reaction was simple. "Cool!" he said.

Mildred met with a different – though surprisingly compassionate – response from Schwarzenegger's then-wife, Maria Shriver, the 50-year-old Baena tells Hello! magazine, which just hit newsstands in the U.K., in an exclusive interview.

Shriver, says Baena, was among many people who noticed the resemblance between young Joseph and the now-former governor of California. Baena worked for Schwarzenegger and Shriver for 20 years.

"Last summer, I brought Joseph over to the house. Until then, he hadn't been around very much," says Baena. "After that, people in the house started whispering about how much they looked like each other."

That included the lady of the house.

"Maria would ask if I needed to talk to her, and I kept saying no. Finally, she asked point blank. Maria asked me directly if Joseph was Arnold's son, and I just broke down. I dropped to my knees and I was crying, saying that yes he was and I was so sorry," Baena says in the interview.

Mildred Baena Describes Maria Shriver's Reaction to Love Child News| Scandals & Feuds, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Shriver

Mildred Baena (lower left) on Hello! cover

Hearing the news, "She cried with me and told me to get off my knees," Baena says of Shriver.

"Since I was retiring soon, I said I would pack and leave right away," says Baena, "but she said to stay until after the holidays."

And Schwarzenegger's reaction? Baena, who says she never told Arnold that Joseph was his, can only speculate. Still, she says: "He's a good man and I know he's suffering too. He loves Maria. I hope with time they work things out."

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