Arnold Schwarzenegger's estranged wife Maria Shriver has thanked her friends for helping her through a "challenging" 2011.
Shriver filed for divorce from the Terminator star earlier this year (11) after it was revealed he had fathered a lovechild with a member of their housekeeping staff 13 years ago.
Now the former newswoman has opened up about her heartache, insisting her close pals helped her stay strong throughout her marriage breakdown.
Shriver reveals a recent experience with a friend with intellectual disabilities has made her think positively during the split.
She tells People.com, "When I was going through my own challenges this year; feeling down and confused, I got an email from him. He wrote me a note saying, 'You're my best friend Maria and you will never be left out.' When the world is so complicated, the simple gift of friendship is within all of our hands. Thank you to everyone who came up to me this weekend and wished me well."
During a barbecue as part of a charity bicycle race on Saturday (10Sep11), Shriver told the crowd, "I appreciate your support, particularly this year, for sticking with me."