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Divorce likely course for Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver

Arnold Schwarzenegger kisses his wife MariShriver after taking oath office as California’s governor 2007. | Marcio Jose Sanchez~AP

Arnold Schwarzenegger kisses his wife, Maria Shriver, after taking the oath of office as California’s governor in 2007. | Marcio Jose Sanchez~AP

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Updated: June 22, 2011 7:09PM



The shocking and very sad collapse of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver’s marriage continues to generate intense interest from readers, so here are the latest tidbits I’ve been able to ferret out:

† Friends of Shriver tell me her decision to hire mega-divorce lawyer Laura Wasser proves to them the devout Roman Catholic has reluctantly decided her marriage is so irreparably broken that divorce is her only course of action.

† Considering Schwarzenegger’s enormous fortune — which eclipses Shriver’s relatively small chunk (by comparison) of the Kennedy family trusts — she stands to get at least $100 million, perhaps more, thanks to California’s community property laws. “Due to what will obviously be a very complicated financial settlement, Maria needs an experienced, tough litigator like Wasser,” said a Shriver pal about the high-profile attorney who shepherded such celebs as Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Angelina Jolie and Ryan Reynolds through the dissolution of their marriages.

† That said, anyone who knows Shriver points out the former top broadcaster and ex-California first lady is not a materialistic person. “Maria enjoys lovely things, but she is a woman who is about ideas, principles, causes and her family — and not things,” said a second source who has known Shriver since college.

† Meanwhile Schwarzenegger’s attorney, Patrick Knapp, released a statement Thursday indicating the ex-governor’s much-touted return to filmmaking has been put on the back burner. Schwarzenegger “is focusing on personal matters,” he said, “and is not willing to commit to any production schedules or timelines. This includes ‘Cry Macho,’ ‘The Terminator’ franchise and other projects under consideration. We will resume discussions when Gov. Schwarzenegger decides.”

† A sad irony of the whole revelation about former Shriver-Schwarzenegger housekeeper Patty Baena giving birth to the “Sperminator’s” secret son: Shriver and her children had considered Baena an integral part of the family, and Maria in particular had taken Baena under her wing — often counseling her on personal matters. Considering Baena was not an attractive woman in the classic sense, “Maria could never have worried that she, of all people, would have tempted Arnold sexually,” said the second source, alluding to Schwarzenegger’s well-known reputation as a philanderer.

† Baena’s ex-husband, Rogelio de Jesus Baena — whom she divorced in 2008 — is being inundated with offers to sell his story.

TOGETHER/APART: The solo appearance of Italian TV personality and actress Elisabetta Canalis at the Cannes Film Festival without longtime love George Clooney at her side fueled recent gossip the couple may be near uncoupling.

That seemed to come as a surprise to the Oscar winner himself, currently filming “Gravity” in London, who told E! News, “We are together and doing fine, as far as I can see.”

† British actor Michael Sheen (“The Queen,” “Frost/Nixon”) has confirmed that he and Rachel McAdams, his co-star in Woody Allen’s upcoming “Midnight in Paris,” are indeed a couple, though McAdams says the pretty sparkler on her ring finger is not an engagement ring — at least not yet.

† “Saturday Night Live” mainstay Fred Armisen and “Mad Men” star Elisabeth Moss — who announced their split last August — were officially divorced last week after less than two years of marriage.

BABY BEAT: Though it had been thought Victoria Beckham’s baby daughter would be born much later, the ex-Spice Girl reportedly has booked a private hospital in L.A. (rumored to be star-friendly Cedars-Sinai) for a Caesarian section on July 4th — which also will be the 12th anniversary of Victoria’s marriage to soccer superstar David Beckham.

† No confirmation from the parents, but there also is buzz the couple’s first daughter — to join sons Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz — may be named Atlanta. She will be the first of the Beckhams’ children to be born in the U.S., and hence a natural-born citizen.

SEEN ON THE SCENE: While here for the big “Oprah” United Center tapings, Dr. Phil McGraw dined at Gibsons on Rush and Queen Latifah ordered food for her eight-person entourage from Carmine’s. … Actress and comic Kym Whitley was spied at Hugo’s Frog Bar. … Toasting Richard Dent’s upcoming induction into the NFL Hall of Fame, the ex-Bear great’s pro athlete buddies Julius “Dr. J.” Erving, Andre Dawson and Doug Williams were seen hangin’ at the Hotel 71. … Ex-mayoral hopeful Gery Chico chowed-down on tapas at Café Ba-Ba-Reeba. … Ex-Bull and Phoenix Suns GM Steve Kerr checked out Second City’s “South Side of Heaven” mainstage show.



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