Assange Slams 'Unauthorized Autobiography'

Publisher releasing 'unfinished, erroneous draft,' WikiLeaks founder complains
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 22, 2011 2:48 AM CDT
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speaks to participants at the IFA 2011 Media Week via a live satellite broadcast in Berlin earlier this month.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is clashing with a British publisher over a memoir being released without his consent. The "unauthorized autobiography," which will go on sale in the UK today, is being published because Assange used a $500,000 advance to pay his legal bills then withdrew from the project because of fears US authorities might use the information in the memoir against him, Canongate says. Assange, however, accuses the publisher of "profiteering from an unfinished and erroneous draft" that he worked on with a ghostwriter earlier this year.

The events surrounding the memoir's publication "are not about freedom of information. They are about old-fashioned opportunism and duplicity—screwing people over to make a buck," Assange tells AP. "This draft was a work in progress. It is entirely uncorrected or fact-checked by me." Canongate's publishing director says Assange ought to be pleased with the memoir. "What comes through here is this very human portrait of Julian, warts and all," he says. "He's a warmer character than a lot of people will be expecting." (Read more Julian Assange stories.)

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