Allegra Huston Recalls the Pitfalls of Being a Hollywood Love Child

As Allegra Huston reveals in a heartfelt essay for Newsweek, she first learned that film director John Huston was not her real father right around the same age that Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s illegitimate son is now struggling with his new identity.

The year was 1976, and John Huston had recently run off to Mexico with the household maid. Her stepmother sat her down to reveal that her biological dad was in fact John Julius Norwich, an English lord and media personality, and that this heretofore unknown parent was about to arrive for a belated introduction:

My “real” father? This sounded more like a fairy tale, the unpleasant kind. When he left, after a long, awkward hour, I had no idea what role he would play in my life. None would be fine with me.

It’s easy to forget in the media frenzy surrounding the Schwarzenegger scandal that the ultimate toll will paid by the 13-year-old teenager at the middle of it all. Huston writes that it wasn’t until two decades later, at the christening of her own son, that she was finally able to reconcile her two disparate families. Officially, the 81-year-old Norwich is her “godfather,” and she never refers to him by anything other than his given name.

[Photo: Newsweek / Allegra Huston]