Reporting that former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger fathered a love child with a member of his household staff, the LA Times finally published a story it's been after for years.
In 2003, the Times assigned dozens of reporters to find Schwarzenegger's then-rumored love child for its “groping series,” which ran just before his election as governor. LA Observed reported that the paper may have lost as many as 9,000 subscriptions over the project.
The website Gawker reminds us that the London Daily Mail in 2003 outed Tanner Tousignant of Brea in Orange County as the child and his mother, Tammy Tousignant, as Schwarzenegger's lover — and flight attendant aboard his private jet.
No one knows if this is true, and the Times has decided not to tell us, saying they know but won't reveal it due to privacy concerns for Schwarzenegger's other family.
The Daily Mail goes on to quote [Tammy] Tousignant saying she hadn't eaten or slept 'since a reporter from the Los Angeles Times called at my door and asked me about it.' So in 2003, the Times was looking into the Tousignant love-child story, but sat on it.
The Times was not the only dog hunting for Schwarzenegger's illegitimate child, who the former governor says is more than 10 years old. Charles Feldman of KNX 1070 radio said today that his previous employer, CNN, was also on the trail of the love child in 2003 and crossed paths with Times reporters several times.
The next journalism feat, however, as Feldman pointed out, will be to track down whether Schwarzenegger was pressured to pay money to keep his affair and child a secret.
The blackmail theory is purely speculation, Feldman admits, but the question has now been raised and the gauntlet has been thrown down.
Another logical question is, Why now? And will this really hurt Schwarzenegger in his Hollywood comeback?
Columnist Melissa Whitworth of the Telegraph in London has a theory. Comparing Schwarzenegger with Elliot Spitzer, she writes:
Spitzer now has a primetime talk show on CNN. Never underestimate the power of redemption in American myth-making … America loves nothing more than a comeback. The real reason Arnold Schwarzenegger admitted his foibles to America? He has a fifth Terminator film in the works.