Katherine Schwarzenegger thought about changing last name

Photo credit: Nikolai Von Bismarck

posted by Lizbeth Scordo – Tue Aug 9 2011, 7:35 AM PDT

After managing to stay out of the spotlight for most of their lives, the Schwarzenegger kids were suddenly swarmed with media attention during the demise of their parents’ marriage earlier this year, when it was revealed that their dad, former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, had fathered a child out of wedlock. A mega scandal ensued.

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For eldest daughter Katherine, 21, the change was overwhelming. “It was like everything came out of nowhere overnight,” she says in the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar. “I would go out to lunch, and literally 20 people would come and scream at me. And I’m like, ‘This is so inappropriate; you’re trying to provoke me to have an attack and say something crazy.'”

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In fact, “crazy” was what Katherine had been trying so hard to avoid since her father became governor when she was just 13. Though she admits to doing some partying in high school, she also knew that one slip-up could ruin everything. “It could have ruined my father’s career if I was caught drunk driving or something like that,” Katherine says. “Being the oldest and going from being an actor’s kid to being the governor’s daughter, it’s a totally different amount of pressure put on you to be perfect.”

“It’s something I deal with every day,” Katherine says of having the Schwarzenegger name. Nikolai Von Bismarck/Harper

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Eventually, when Katherine began attending college a few years ago, she found that having Schwarzenegger for a last name made certain aspects of her life, well, less than perfect. “I thought of changing it because, especially for dating, it’s impossible,” she tells the magazine. “It’s something I deal with every day, and I am hyperconscious about it. When I got to college, people — much more guys than girls because girls don’t give a crap about bodybuilding — were coming up to me, and it would automatically jump to a conversation about my dad and weight lifting or how to do a proper bicep curl. It’s like, ‘Do you want to date my father, or do you want to date me?'”

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Despite having the same last name as her dad, it’s her mother, Maria Shriver, with whom she feels more connected. The two talk around six times a day and email constantly. “I’ve always been way closer to my mom,” Katherine admits. “Even when I was little, I was glued to her all the time. I’m close to my dad, but they’re totally different kinds of relationships.”

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