STOCKHOLM-- Sweden's King Carl XVI Gustaf has rejected rumors that he visited seedy night clubs and had mob contacts in an usual interview with domestic news agency TT.

The 65-year-old figurehead monarch popularity has been sagging since the release of a book last year that made salacious claims about his private life.

The scandal grew in recent weeks after one of the king's friends, Anders Lettstrom, admitted making contact with a reputed gangland figure to find out more about the material presented in the book.

In Monday's interview the king condemned Lettstrom's actions and said he had acted without the king's knowledge.