Arnold Schwarzenegger opens up about difficult childhood in new Netflix documentary

The Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger now reveals details in a new Netflix documentary about his life.

Arnold Schwarzenegger opens up about his difficult childhood in new Netflix documentary
© Aurelien Meunier - PSG / Getty Images
Arnold Schwarzenegger opens up about his difficult childhood in new Netflix documentary

Arnold is the name of the new three-part Netflix documentary in which you can learn more about Schwarzenegger's life, it came out June 7, 2023. The actor talks openly about his past and tells of his difficult relationship with his parents.

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Arnold Schwarzenegger's difficult childhood

According to Bild, Schwarzenegger grew up with his brother Meinhard, who unfortunately passed away, in the small Austrian town of Thal in Styria. His childhood was marked by abuse by his father, who suffered a stroke in 1972.

In the documentary, Arnie admits that his upbringing was hard. He goes on to say:

Our upbringing was very tough. The brutality that would be at home, the beatings that we got from our parents sometimes

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His father Gustav was a 'wartime Nazi party official', while his mother Aurelia, who also died, was a 'cleanliness fanatic'. Arnie explained:

Everything was perfectly placed' otherwise she would ‘go nuts.

Schwarzenegger's broken father

Schwarzenegger's father had come back from the war a broken man. Schwarzenegger excuses the mistreatment of him and his brother with 'post-traumatic stress disorder and depression,' from which the father presumably suffered.

Arnie and his brother were slapped and beaten with a belt by their father. The father had behaved 'schizophrenically' and sometimes showed good, and occasionally bad sides of himself. The Hollywood star further admits:

He thought he should create discipline in the house... you had to 'earn' breakfast
My dad always said, 'Whatever you do Arnold, be useful'

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The American Dream

His bad childhood only strengthened Schwarzenegger and made him rebel. So he became more and more determined to leave his home country and become 'rich and famous,' as Daily Mail explains.

The Terminator is the perfect example of the American Dream. Already at the age of 21, in 1968, he emigrated to the USA and became a bodybuilding champion there. From 2003 to 2011, he was even governor of California.

The relationship with the Kennedy niece

In the new Netflix documentary, Arnold Schwarzenegger talks about his relationship with his parents as well as his relationship with his ex-wife, Maria Shriver. He admits that 'it was wrong what he did' and refers to his affair with his former housekeeper, Mildred Baena, who gave birth to his son Joseph, according to the movie star.

The affair was the end of Maria and Arnold, and the couple separated in 2011. Schwarzenegger regrets his actions:

Everyone has suffered because of this. Mary had to suffer. The children had to suffer. Joseph, his mother - just everyone. [...] It was wrong what I did.

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This article was translated from Ohmymag DE.

Sources used:

Stern: 'Das offenbart er in der neuen Netflix-Doku'

Daily Mail: 'He could go crazy at any time': Arnold Schwarzenegger brands his Nazi father 'a TYRANT' as he recalls the 'brutal' abuse and beatings he suffered at his hands as a child'

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