The new head of a right wing Austrian party has admitted to having an affair with the former party leader who died in a car crash earlier this month.

Jörg Haider (58), the high profile chairman of the Alliance for the Future of Austria died in a high speed car crash on October 11.

Witnesses placed Haider at a gay club shortly before the car crash and the Austrian media also published photographs of the controversial politician at the venue.

According to witnesses, Haider and his then deputy, Stefan Petzner (27), were seen arguing at the bar. Petzner has since effectively admitted to having an affair with his late boss, whom he replaced as the party leader.

“We had a relationship that went far beyond friendship. Jörg and I were connected by something truly special. He was the man of my life,” said an emotional Petzner in a radio interview.

He revealed that he rushed to the hospital to see Haider’s body on the night of the crash: “I had to go to him. I had to go to him.”

Petzner also claimed that Haider’s widow, Claudia, was accepting of their relationship: “She loved him as a woman. He loved her as a man. I loved him in a completely different and personal way. She understood that.”

It’s been reported that embarrassed party bosses attempted to stop the broadcast of the radio interview and have dismissed Petzner as party leader following the revelations.

Haider, who is said to have expressed admiration for the Nazi regime, had long been at the centre of rumours about his sexuality. He was noted for surrounding himself with young attractive men. His blood alcohol level was found to be three times the legal limit at the time of his fatal car crash.

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