Julian Assange: experiment gave me white hair
New book brands blond WikiLeaks founder a predatory, narcissistic fantasist
A new book about WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently awaiting a decision on his appeal against extradition to face sexual misdemeanour charges in Sweden, attempts to settle one abiding mystery: Assange's hair colour.
An excerpt from The Revolution Will Be Digitised, was published today by the Mail on Sunday. In it, investigative journalist Heather Brooke brands a man she once saw as heroic as a predatory, narcissistic fantasist.
She records details of their several meetings – including the time she asked him if his striking platinum blond hair was natural. Assange told her: "It went white as a result of a childhood experiment with a cathode ray tube that went wrong."
Equally bizarre was his response to her questions about his unusual surname. He told Brooke: "Some people think it's French or African. My mother is French. My grandfather was a Taiwanese pirate."
When Brooke refused to believe the pirate story, Assange seemed hurt, telling her: "He was a pirate and landed on Thursday Island where he met and married a Thursday Islander woman. They went to Queensland."
The rest of the Mail's excerpt from Brooke's book is more familiar territory: Assange's high-handed treatment of other members of the WikiLeaks organisation, his alleged dogged pursuit of women even if they are married and his supposedly patchy personal hygiene.
The man himself supposedly scuppered plans to write an autobiography earlier this year for fear it would give away too many secrets, leaving publishers desperate for more.
In the meantime, Assange remains in the Norfolk country mansion of his wealthy supporter, photojournalist Vaughan Smith. The High Court is due to rule on his extradition appeal – but postponed its decision to an unspecified date. ·
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