Arnold Schwarzenegger has come under fire, following the discovery he is being paid $1 million (GBP550,000) a year as a consultant to a company that publishes fitness magazines.

The payments, revealed yesterday (13JUL05) in filings at the US Securities and Exchange Commission, are from American Media Operations, a subsidiary of the company that publishes magazines including Flex and Muscle + Fitness.

Critics say the contract is a conflict of interest because California Governor Schwarzenegger's pay comes from advertising revenue and the magazines often feature advertisements about dietary supplements.

Last year (04), Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have imposed government regulations on the dietary supplement industry.

Bill sponsor Senator JACKIE SPEIER is calling on Schwarzenegger to cut off all ties with the magazines, adding, "Whether it is an actual conflict or not, it certainly gives the appearance of being a conflict."

Schwarzenegger's spokeswoman MARGITA THOMPSON insists the deal with the magazines does not represent a conflict of interest.

Schwarzenegger's consulting contract calls for him to receive one per cent of the magazines' advertising revenue each year for five years - a sum that could total $8 million (GBP4.4 million).

The TERMINATOR star announced last year that he had agreed to serve as executive editor for Muscle + Fitness and Flex. He writes monthly columns for both, but his salary for those jobs has not been revealed.

14/07/2005 09:51