California Governor ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER suspects his former rival Sylvester Stallone of leading a secret 1980s campaign to give the Terminator star a reputation as a Nazi sympathiser, according to a new book.

The two Hollywood action stars were bitter enemies in 1988, after Schwarzenegger enjoyed an affair with Stallone's ex-wife Brigitte Nielsen and accused the Rocky actor of hiring publicity agents to save his image.

And in new book FANTASTIC: THE LIFE OF ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, biographer LAURENCE LEAMER claims Stallone sought vengeance by telling British journalist WENDY LEIGH that Schwarzenegger's Austrian father helped round up Jews during the Holocaust and that Schwarzenegger was a "secret admirer of HITLER".

Leigh claims Stallone paid her legal fees and covered her settlement to the Austrian actor, after he sued Leigh for libel when she published Stallone's alleged comments in a book.

And although Stallone insists he did not contribute to Leigh's controversial tome, Leamer claims Schwarzenegger "reluctantly" confirmed he still believes Stallone worked to smear him as a fascist sympathiser, reports America's NEW YORK DAILY NEWS newspaper.

The pair have since settled their differences and are firm friends again.

24/05/2005 13:39