Arnold Schwarzenegger Makes First Public Speech Since Split From Maria Shriver

The former California governor made a rare public appearance.

ByABC News
August 4, 2011, 6:56 PM

Aug. 4, 2011— -- Former California GovernorArnold Schwarzenegger took a big step back into the limelight this evening by making one of his first public speeches since his split from wife Maria Shriver.

The once popular governor delivered a 10 minute keynote address at the American Chamber of Commerce Executives convention in Los Angeles, Calif.

Schwarzenegger didn't stray from the tone of the conference.

He discussed what he gleaned from the state's budget woes while serving as governor and how California can become more attractive to investors, and warned against political gridlock.

"We have too many of the legislators that are too far to the right or too far to the left, and therefore nothing gets done," he said.

He made no mention of his divorce, but ended the 10 minute speech with a bit of levity, closing with his famous line from the "Terminator" series: "I'll be back." He received a standing ovation and welcoming applause after he discussed state's workers' compensation laws.

Last month, Schwarzenegger announced he's ready to work again. His first project will be a big one -- a starring role in the Lionsgate film "Last Stand," where he will play a border-town sheriff who unwittingly finds himself battling a notorious drug kingpin on the run.

Back in the Game?

It was yet another sign the actor may be ready to come out of a self-imposed exile after he and Shriver announced their separation in May.

It was later revealed that the "Terminator" star had fathered a child with Mildred "Patty" Baena, who had been the family's housekeeper for 20 years.

In July, Shriver filed for divorce from Schwarzenegger.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver, who were married for 25 years, recently came together in a show of support for their son Christopher, 13, who suffered multiple broken bones and a collapsed lung in a boogie board accident in early July.

The family was also seen eating lunch together and shopping on July 30 --Schwarzenegger's 64th birthday.

After such an unforgiveable betrayal, there are even more signs the two are trying to remain friendly.

Divorce negotiations are largely taking place in private, after Schwarzenegger agreed last month to pay Shriver's attorney fees and withdrew a request for a judge to terminate Shriver's right to spousal support.

"This is a painful and heartbreaking time," Shriver said in a statement when news Schwarzenegger's infidelity broke. "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."

She is seeking joint legal and physical custody of the couple's two minor children, Patrick, 17 and Christopher, 13, and a division of assets, according to the divorce papers. They also have two older children together, Katherine and Christina.

The Associated Press and's Michael S. James and Susan James contributed to this report.