Veteran AP Hollywood correspondent and prolific author Bob Thomas is calling it "a grim coincidence that I'm doing books on two AIDS victims, both of whom I've known and admired greatly." He's referring to "Liberace: The True Story," which he's just signed to research/write for St. Martin's, and "My Husband, Rock Hudson," which he co-wrote with Phyllis Gates, due out from Doubleday in April.

Thomas, who had known Liberace since 1952, told us, "I was very fond of him--he was lots of fun." But: "It will be a full-scale bio. I'll do it in a fair and balanced way, but leaving out nothing I can find that's fit to print.

"It will be done in good taste, but there will be things in it that could never be done during Lee's lifetime, because he never would have allowed it."

Thomas has a four-month deadline. St. Martin's plans to have a hardcover out in January.

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