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Schwarzenegger infidelity allegations key to collapse of marriage: sources

Arnold Schwarzenegger MariShriver

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

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Updated: June 12, 2011 12:26AM

For longtime, close observers of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, the couple’s official announcement of their separation late Monday came as no surprise.

“It was inevitable. They have been on very different paths for a long time — well before Arnold’s term as [California] governor ended,” a close Kennedy family associate — who has known Shriver since her Uncle Jack was President — told me Tuesday.

While the couple is insisting there will be no further comments beyond the announcement of their separation, sources close to the spouses say the collapse of the marriage was caused by multiple allegations of the aging action star’s marital infidelities, his increasingly over-the-top ego trips and Shriver’s realization she played a very minor role in the script of Schwarzenegger’s life.

The duo spent little time in Sacramento while the actor was governor, though Shriver clearly enjoyed carving a meaningful role for herself as the state’s first lady — especially focusing on women’s issues.

† Shriver, known to be deeply committed to her Roman Catholic faith, reportedly had hoped to avoid a divorce, but now is said to be increasingly resigned to the inevitability of that happening.

† An additional irritant for Shriver: Schwarzenegger’s frequent touting of his Kennedy connection back when he felt it helped him professionally. Even though he was a staunch Republican — yet with a moderate bent — Schwarzenegger knew his marital tie to the nation’s most famous political clan was an asset.

Recently, he has supposedly said the “Kennedy brand” is waning and doesn’t have the influence it once had.

“Whether you’re famous or not, not being respected by your spouse is a death blow to any marriage, and Maria clearly doesn’t feel Arnold has given her the respect she so richly deserves,” said the family friend.

† As a veteran TV broadcaster — who recently has focused on documentary production — Shriver is likely to return to the career that made her a household name. Given her close friendship with Oprah Winfrey, could that possibly mean a role on Winfrey’s OWN network?

NO MONEY WORRIES: Even though the collapse of Paul McCartney’s last marriage to Heather Mills cost him $50 million, the Beatles legend clearly isn’t worried about a costly repeat with soon-to-be third wife Nancy Shevell.

The couple reportedly has only a one-page prenup — mainly guaranteeing that should the marriage fail, Shevell will have no claim to McCartney’s children’s trusts.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Shevell — who also happens to be Barbara Walters’ cousin — is extremely wealthy in her own right. Money is not an issue with these two.

HONEYMOONING: Clarence House is confirming nothing beyond “they are away,” but it appears that Prince William and his bride Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, have quietly escaped to a private island retreat in the Seychelles in the middle of the Indian Ocean — to happily enjoy their honeymoon.

WHAT A RIDE! There are a lot of smiles around the Volo Auto Museum these days, thanks to selling off some very pricy antique cars to the producers of “The Great Gatsby,” starring Leonardo DiCaprio in the title role. Two 1929 Duesenbergs and a 1929 Packard will be shipped Down Under to the Australian filming site — where well-known car buff DiCaprio certainly will enjoy driving them.

A spokesman for the Illinois museum would not confirm exact sales numbers, but did admit, “Duesenbergs are worth well into seven figures, and Packards [of that vintage] are worth a healthy five digits.”

Meanwhile the museum is gearing up for a big online auction — with a further strong Hollywood theme. Cars from “Scooby Doo” and Lindsay Lohan’s “Herbie: Fully Loaded” are among the offerings June 8-15 at

STAR-TRACKING: Offered a role in the finale season of “Entourage,” Charlie Sheen is said to think it’s a very “Winning!” idea. … Add Alicia Silverstone to the list of stars giving their kids weird names. The actress’ newborn son will be known as Bear Blu Jarecki. … According to my Hollywood gossip pal Janet Charlton, Ryan Seacrest hopes one day to pursue a political career — perhaps first tackling a race for mayor of Los Angeles.

Bill Zwecker reports regularly on WFLD-Channel 32.

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