Eventually, Arnold Schwarzenegger wasn’t the only one who cheated on his wife with their maid. Maria Shriver is also reported to have been sleeping with her husband’s lead campaign strategist, Mathew Dowd well before Schwarzenegger’s old affair with their housekeeper came to light.
Her secret was blown in the open by her husband’s campaign staffers and other sources, reports The Post. Meanwhile, Shriver stepped out for the first time with Dowd, now an ABC analyst, last month at cousin Bobby Kennedy’s wedding .
“Maria likes to make it appear that she’s the victim, but she’s not,” a source said. “The [idea] that they started dating recently is ridiculous.’’
In May 2011, Schwarzenegger, 67, publicly admitted sleeping with the family’s housekeeper, Mildred Beana years earlier and fathering her son, now 16.
But sources say Shriver and Dowd had started dating since 2006, even before separating from Schwarzenegger after news of his affair broke. At that time, Dowd was working on her hubby’s gubernatorial re-election campaign in California, sources said.
When Schwarzenegger was away, Shriver and Dowd would flaunt their affair in front of staffers, sources said, taking long walks together and spending alone time after meetings.
“There was a lot of flirtation,” a campaign staffer said. “They frequently spent time alone, and Arnold was rarely, if ever, around when they were together. She had a unique banter with [Dowd] and lit up when he was around. He was comfortable poking fun at her, and she would slap him teasingly.”
When Schwarzenegger heard of the affair, Dowd was pushed out of his inner circle, sources said. But the fights continued on the campaign trail, sources said.
“They were having blowouts in public over Matthew. Yelling and crying. Total chaos,” another campaign staffer said. “I was like, ‘How are we going to keep this from getting out?’ ”
Staffers had to choose — Team Maria or Team Arnold, sources said.
“There was no way to straddle the line,” a source said.
Dowd, in a direct-message tweet to The Post on Monday, denied he and Shriver had been involved at the time. “There was no affair,’’ he said. “We were good friends.”
But Schwarzenegger’s staffers were told Dowd was the enemy and he was not allowed at the inauguration, an inaugural-committee staffer said.
In public, Schwarzenegger and Shriver remained a couple —but she continued seeing Dowd during her husband’s second term, a source said.
While Schwarzenegger was in Sacramento, Shriver went on getaways with Dowd, the source said.
She flew to New York in 2007 to stay at the Four Seasons and see Dowd, a source said. And they gallivanted around Santa Monica, Calif., and stayed at a hotel, the source said.
“She referred to him as one of her closest friends. The governor knew about it the whole time,” the source said.
In 2010, when he was booked for ABC’s “This Week,” on which Dowd often appeared, Schwarzenegger asked for a separate green room so they wouldn’t cross paths, a network
And Dowd bragged about bedding a Kennedy, sources said. After too many drinks at a wedding in 2011, Dowd announced he was staying with Shriver at the Montage Hotel, where she lived during her separation with Schwarzenegger, a witness
When stories emerged in 2011 about Schwarzenegger’s love child, ex-staffers were told by a top aide to the governor not to say anything on Shriver’s affair.
“He did not want the dirty laundry out there,” a campaign staffer said.
Despite filing their papers nearly three years ago, the two have yet to finalize a divorce. A source said it’s being settled “amicably.”
A lawyer for Schwarzenegger declined to comment.
A rep for Shriver did not return a request for comment either.