May 16, 2007 / 2:55 AM / 12 years ago

Shriver says Anna Nicole frenzy ended her TV return

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) - Maria Shriver said on Tuesday that she was about to return to work in TV news earlier this year but changed her mind after seeing the widespread tabloid-style coverage of the death of B-movie actress Anna Nicole Smith.

California First Lady Maria Shriver listens during the "Women at Google Speaker Series" at Google headquarters in Mountain View, California May 15, 2007. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

The wife of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Shriver has not hidden the fact that she did not want to give up her career at NBC News when he was first elected in 2003. After a long leave suggested by the network, said she had worked out a deal to return after the Republican began his second term in January.

“Actually I went back to them this year and I said ‘Okay, now this is ridiculous, I should be able to come back,’” Shriver told an audience of workers at Internet firm Google. “You know I’ve never had a conflict before and I’ve always been in a quote political family.”

Shriver’s mother is slain U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s sister and her father, Sargent Shriver, was the Democratic candidate for U.S. vice president in 1972.

In a frank discussion on her life, motherhood and work, Shriver said she had a change of heart after serious news outlets provided over-the top coverage on the February death of Smith, who was best known for her bust line and messy personal life rather than achievements.

“I kind of made up my mind I did not want to go back into the news division after watching the Anna Nicole Smith frenzy,” Shriver said. “I was just flabbergasted by that. How it was across the board, all encompassing and I just thought to myself, this is not where I want to work.”

“I actually quit and I said, you know what, this ship has sailed, it’s not for me.”

Shriver was once weekend anchor for “NBC Nightly News” and worked for many years for the news magazine program “Dateline

NBC”.

A mother of four, Shriver remains active with a number of volunteer organizations but said she looked forward to slowing down somewhat after living frenetically throughout her life.

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