LATEST: Actor Val Kilmer has accused ROLLING STONE magazine of misquoting him in an article which has sparked ire in the American state of New Mexico.

The publication's 16 October (03) issue features a story on Kilmer headlined "Mr Difficult", and it quotes the star as saying he lives in the "homicide capital of the south-west" and 80 per cent "of the people in my county are drunk".

But the 43-year-old BATMAN RETURNS star, who owns a ranch in San Miguel County south of Pecos, plans to ask Rolling Stone to apologise for the article, explaining, "I didn't say I live in the homicide capital of the south-west."

He says another comment that he carries a gun in his car while driving with his children because there are so many drunk drivers in the area "doesn't make sense".

Rolling Stone spokeswoman CLAUDIA DIROMAULDO says the magazine has yet to hear from Kilmer, adding, "Our only comment is, Rolling Stone stands by the article."

Kilmer says the northern New Mexico community has embraced him and he's saddened by the comments attributed to him.

He urges, "You can ask anyone who knows me, I've never said a racist or prejudiced thing in my life."

State Senator PHIL GRIEGO, a Democrat whose district includes Kilmer's ranch, had earlier said that if the actor doesn't like San Miguel County he's welcome to leave.

Kilmer plans to call Griego, whose San Jose home isn't far from his ranch, to talk about the article.

10/10/2003 09:06