His upcoming interview on "60 Minutes" is part of a media blitz to promote his book and repair his image.
Entitled "Total Recall," Schwarzenegger devotes one chapter called "The Secret" to the scandal. The bulk of his story is about his successes in three careers: World champion bodybuilder, a box-office heavyweight, then two-term Governor of California.
He describes how he bucked the political odds in an excerpt released Friday to the Associated Press about the 2003 California recall election. Schwarzenegger, weighing whether to run, says he consulted with then-White House advisor Karl Rove. He says Rove was dismissive and said a recall would not even happen and that in the next regular election Rove back Condaleeza Rice. Schwarzenegger writes, "How could Rove have been so wrong?"
Schwarzenegger ran and won despite persistent allegations of womanizing. Yet by Election Day, Schwarzenegger's out-of-wedlock son was 5 years old. It would be seven more years before he told his wife, Maria Shriver, about it, and only when she had a marriage counselor confront him.
"I think it was the stupidest thing I have ever done in the whole relationship," Schwarzenegger said in his "60 Minutes" interview. "It was terrible. I inflicted tremendous pain on Maria and unbelievable pain on the kids."
The excerpts come the same week he opened the USC-Schwarzenegger Institute with a $20 million funding commitment, giving a classic Arnold refrain.
"Learn to innovate, to improve and to experiment, and take risks to respond to new circumstances and challenges," he said.
Though the book is dubbed a tell-all, "60 minutes" says some topics are not discussed, including the out- of-wedlock son, now 14 years old, and the impact of the scandal on Schwarzenegger other children.