Unconfirmed reports originally published by the British tabloid The Star and in the U.S. by the National Enquirer that Paul Newman was dying of lung cancer received new impetus when writer A.E. Hotchner (Papa Hemingway, King of the Hill), a friend and business partner, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that Newman told him 18 months ago that he was fighting "a form of cancer and he's dealing with it." Later, Hotchner maintained that the AP had misquoted him, telling Access Holl ywood, "I saw him last week and he seemed fine. ... I have no knowledge of any diagnosis or doctors." The AP said that it stood by its story. Newman himself appeared to be treating the reports whimsically, repeating a comment he made last February when rumors originally arose that he was in failing health. His doctors, he said, have been treating him "for athlete's foot and hair loss."