SOME DAYS the National Enquirer lets you down.

When a politician fathers a love child, isn't it the duty of the Enquirer to hide in the hospital waiting room and provide salacious details?

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And when the babydaddy is not only a politician, but a movie star and married to a TV personality who's also a member of the Kennedy clan?

How did the Enquirer miss this?

That serial groper Arnold Schwarzenegger (a/k/a "Predator") was able to hide the existence of a love child for a decade in this 24-hour news-cycle age is astounding. But it's still not the part of the story that stuns Tattle the most.

Is it that he fathered a child with someone on his staff?

Nah. That's old hat.

(If only he'd worn a hat.)

Strom Thurmond fathered a child with his black maid while leading the fight against racial equality.

Thomas Jefferson fathered children with his slave.

Prince Albert of Monaco fathered babies with commoners.

The most amazing thing about this story is that after the Sperminator knocked up the help, the woman gave birth and returned to work for the family for another 10 years.

Steroids may shrink a bodybuilder's balls, but Arnold's remained gigantic.

He must have paid her off. He had to provide child support. He couldn't just say "Hasta la vista, baby," could he?

The "True Lies" star and wife Maria Shriver jointly announced May 9 that they were splitting after 25 years of marriage. Maria had already moved out of their Brentwood mansion earlier in the year (a/k/a "Judgment Day") after Ah-nuld acknowledged the lust child, the Los Angeles Times reported yesterday.

It wasn't surprising that the power couple split once he was finally done with political life - that's fairly common (see Gore, Al; Rendell, Ed; McGreevey, Jim) - but the baby moved it into Lifetime movie territory.

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger said in a statement, romantically referring to his Wiener Waltz as "this event."

"I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.

(In the Schwarzenegger family this is known as a Maria Culpa.)

"I ask that the media respect my wife and children through this extremely difficult time," the statement concluded. "While I deserve your attention and criticism, my family does not."

Later, Maria also released a statement: "This is a painful and heartbreaking time. As a mother, my concern is for the children. I ask for compassion, respect and privacy as my children and I try to rebuild our lives and heal. I will have no further comment."

Patrick Schwarzenegger, 17 (a/k/a "Collateral Damage"), yesterday Tweeted: "some days you feel like s---, some days you want to quit and just be normal for a bit, yet i love my family till death do us apart." He signed his tweet "Patrick Shriver."

Because it is not the Enquirer, the L.A. Times did not (yet) publish the former staffer's name or that of her child but said the woman worked for the family for 20 years and retired in January.

So how long is it going to take for the rest of the media to put two plus one together?

Schwarzenegger issued his statement to the Times late Monday, after the newspaper interviewed the former staffer. She had told the Times that another man - her husband at the time - was the child's father. When the Times later informed the woman of the governor's statement, she declined to comment further.

Stories like these are why "Oprah" shouldn't go off the air. This could be three shows, easy.

In public comments after the couple announced their breakup, Arnold said last week that he and Maria "both love each other very much."

Tattle translation: "I screwed up and she hates my guts."

* Trying to catch up on

the story it got beat on by the old mainstream media, TMZ.com reported that Arnold's Santa Monica office building doubled as a motel on Admiral Wilson Boulevard.

TMZ said the former governor had numerous late-night rendezvous there with various women, often carrying legal-size manila envelopes - perhaps as cover allowing them to handle the male.

TMZ sources familiar with the office when these women were coming - approximately five to seven years ago - say there were several bedrooms in the suite where they would go.

Schwarzenegger, McGreevey, Eliot Spitzer, Bill Clinton, Mark Sanford, the list goes on and on.

In the world of politics, are governors the biggest dogs?

Tattbits

 * Today's celeb memoir du jour

will come from Who guitarist Pete Townshend.

HarperCollins announced yesterday that the book, now untitled, would come out in the fall of 2012.

Townshend, who turns 66 tomorrow, has long been one of rock's most introspective and self-consciously literary artists. In a statement issued through his publisher, he said the book was "not a vanity for me," but an "essential rite of passage."

* Lisa Edelstein,

whose Lisa Cuddy has been the love-interest foil of Dr. House for seven years, will not be back for season eight.

The Hollywood Reporter says that Edelstein was among several cast members, along with Omar Epps and Robert Sean Leonard, whose contracts expired at the end of Season 7. To reduce costs on the production - because even fake health care is spiraling out of control - producers asked the trio to take pay cuts - like they worked at a newspaper or something.

While Epps and Leonard agreed, Edelstein chose to move out of "House."

Daily News wire services contributed to this report.

Email:gensleh@

phillynews. com.