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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 July, 2005, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Schwarzenegger drops media deal
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Mr Schwarzenegger had denied any conflict of interest
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says he has dropped a multimillion-dollar magazine deal which was seen as a conflict of interest.

He was set to be paid more than $1m (567,000) a year as a consultant for fitness magazines.

The governor's spokeswoman had denied any conflict, saying he had complied with laws on revealing income.

California law allows governors and other elected officials to keep outside jobs while in office.

The former actor, who was elected in 2003, has rejected his $175,000-a-year salary as governor.

"When I became governor I pledged to put the people of California front and center," Mr Schwarzenegger said in a statement on Friday. "I don't want there to be any question or doubt that the people have my full devotion.

"Therefore, effective today I will relinquish my title as executive editor and forego any compensation from the magazines."

Welcomed move

American Media Operations, a subsidiary of American Media Inc. which publishes Flex and Muscle & Fitness magazines, revealed the payments in documents filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

The payments, confirmed by the governor's office, could have been as high as $8m over five years.

The magazines receive much of their advertising revenue from companies producing dietary supplements.

Last year, Mr Schwarzenegger vetoed a bill that would have introduced state regulation in the supplement industry.

Jackie Speier, a Democrat in the California State Senate and the bill's sponsor, who had said the governor should quit the company, welcomed the move.

"Yesterday I asked the governor to make the right decision about his financial contract with American Media. Regardless of the legality of the contract, it was time for him to be a leader and to sever the contract. I am pleased that he has acted appropriately," she said.

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