Klaus Kinski's eldest daughter claims the late German actor raped her when she was a child, showering her with gifts even as he used her as a "sex object," according to an interview published Thursday. 

Pola Kinski, 60, told Germany's Stern magazine that her father, a prolific and mercurial actor who starred in films such as Doctor Zhivago and Nosferatu the Vampyre, started abusing her when she was five or six. 

"Whether one believes me or not, this is what happened to me. It's the truth," she told the weekly in an interview to coincide with the publication in German next week of her autobiography.

Klaus Kinski died of a heart attack in California two decades ago at the age of 65. He began theatre acting after the Second World War, gained praise for his evocative stage readings and achieved international fame after playing a villain in Sergio Leone's spaghetti Western For A Few Dollars More, which also starred Clint Eastwood.  

He is most famous for his collaboration with German director Werner Herzog. In films such as Aguirre, the Wrath of God, Woyzeck and Fitzcarraldo, Kinski portrayed characters that mirrored his own volatile personality.   

In an autobiography, written a few years before his death and titled All I Need is Love, he described himself as sexually voracious and suffering from mental health problems.

Alleged abuse took place over 14-year period

An advance copy of Pola Kinski's book obtained by The Associated Press details her father's alleged emotional and sexual abuse over a 14-year period, during which he warned his daughter not to tell anyone what happened and repeatedly gave her expensive presents.  

"He bought himself a little sex object, which he bedded on a cushion made of silk," she told Stern magazine, adding that she wanted to reveal "who this person really was" in her book.   

Friends and other family members couldn't immediately be reached or declined to publicly discuss Pola Kinski's allegations.   An agent for Nastassja Kinski, Pola's younger half-sister from her father's second marriage, said she was "not commenting just yet."  

One of Kinski's biographers, Peter Geyer, also declined to comment.  

Although she said she told her mother of the alleged abuse when she was 19, Pola Kinski said she only felt real relief when her father died in 1991.  

The German government's commissioner for sexual abuse issues said Thursday the allegations against Kinski showed how hard it was for victims to break their silence.  

"Pola Kinski needed 20 years to say how terribly she was abused by her father for years," Johannes-Wilhelm Roerig told German public television station ZDF.