A-list actor recalls 'brutal' childhood abuse and beatings from own father

Arnold Schwarzenegger has recalled ‘waking up with our hearts pounding’ as a child over fears of suffering abuse at the hands of his own father.

The Terminator actor, 75, opens up about his difficult childhood with his dad Gustav, who was a member of the Nazi party, and mother Aurelia, in an upcoming Netflix documentary about his life.

In the series, the Fubar star branded Gustav a ‘tyrant’ who made him and his brother, Meinhard, who died in a car crash in 1971, ‘earn breakfast’ by competing against each other in challenges.

Arnie tells the programme markers his brother who was ‘more delicate’ could not sustain that ‘brutality we got at home, the beatings.’

Opening up about his father, the Predtor actor details: ‘There is a kind of schizophrenic behaviour that my brother and I witnessed at home.

‘There was the kind father, and other times when my father would come home drunk at three in the morning and he would be screaming.

He continues according to the Daily Mail: ‘We’d wake up with our hearts pounding and we knew at any time he could strike my mother or go crazy, so there was this kind of strange violence.’

The Predator actor said his tough childhood spurred him on to be a success at a young age and leave Austria, eventually carving out a weight-lifting and Hollywood career in the US.

In 2004, Arnold first revealed the abuse suffered at the hands of his father, telling Fortune Magazine his ‘hair was pulled and I was hit with belts.’

The Total Recall star continued at the time: ‘It was just the way it was. Many of the children I’ve seen were broken by their parents, which was the German-Austrian mentality.

‘Break the will. They didn’t want to create an individual. It was all about conforming.” But he went on: “I was one who did not conform and whose will could not be broken.

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‘Therefore I became a rebel. Every time I got hit, and every time someone said, “You can’t do this,” I said, “This is not going to be for much longer, because I’m going to move out of here. I want to be rich. I want to be somebody.”‘

In Arnold, the action hero also opens up on the devastating moment he told his ex-wife, Maria Shriver, of his affair with housekeeper Mildred Baena, 61.

He fathered son Joseph, now 31, with Mildred while he was still married to Maria

Arnold is available to stream on Netflix from June 9.

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