Maria Shriver Puts Protecting Her Kids Before Anger over Arnold's Mistress

06/15/2011 at 12:10 PM EDT

Maria Shriver Puts Protecting Her Kids Before Anger over Arnold's Mistress
Mildred Baena (left) and Maria Shriver
Pacific Coast News; Chelsea Lauren/FilmMagic
Maria Shriver's children come first. And even as former housekeeper Mildred Baena acknowledges having a love child with Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shriver is set on shielding them from the news and eventual fallout.

"While Maria may not have been as angry at Mildred as she was at Arnold, her instinct would be to protect her family," a source close to the family tells PEOPLE "Whatever she did in the aftermath was about taking care of her kids, trying to shield them and trying to minimize the repercussions."

Shriver has not commented on the interview in Hello Magazine in which Baena claims, among other things, to having a tearful confrontation with Shriver.

Baena also says she never told Schwarzenegger about their son Joseph. But a source close to the former California governor tells PEOPLE, "Arnold's been providing for the kid ever since he found out he was the father, which was when the kid was a young child."

The source close to the family concurs: "I am 100 percent sure that Arnold knew Joseph was his son for some, if not many, years. He did not know when she was pregnant and perhaps not even until he was a toddler, but he knew when the boy was very young."

With reporting by KEN LEE

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