As financial companies cut ties with WikiLeaks, Assange is facing problems financing WikiLeaks [EPA]
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has told a UK newspaper he has signed a deal for his autobiography.
The book deal is worth more than $1.5 million. His US publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, is fronting $800,000, while a British deal with Canongate is worth $500,000, he said in an interview published on Sunday with the British daily newspaper, the Sunday Times.
Assange said the money would help his defence against allegations of sexual assault.
The latest project of Assange’s website is the gradual release of tens of thousands of US diplomatic cables.
Since this latest project began Assange, who is on bail in Britain fighting a bid by Sweden to extradite him over the sex assault claims, has faced problems financing WikiLeaks.
Credit card companies Visa and MasterCard, banks including Bank of America, and the internet payment firm PayPal have blocked donations to WikiLeaks, prompting Assange to label them “instruments of US foreign policy”.
The Bank of America, the largest US bank, has also halted all transactions to WikiLeaks.
Washington has been infuriated by WikiLeaks as the site slowly releases the cache of around 250,000 secret US State Department cables. The US is believed to be considering how to indict Assange over the huge leak.
Assange has been staying at a friend’s country mansion in eastern England since his release from jail on December 16 on strict bail conditions that include reporting to police daily and wearing an electronic tag.
A court in London is due to hold a full hearing on the Swedish extradition request starting February 7.
The news of Assange’s autobiography comes as another WikiLeaks insider promises a book of his own.
Crown Publishers announced on Wednesday that it is set to publish a “tell-all book” by the former spokesperson for the whistle-blowing website, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, who is also known as Daniel Schmitt.
Schmitt’s Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World’s Most Dangerous Website is due out in February.
The book “will reveal the evolution, finances and inner tensions” of the controversial organisation, according to the US-based publisher.
Schmitt met Assange in 2007. He left WikiLeaks three months ago. Citing ethical, personal and political differences with Assange, Schmitt plans on launching a similar platform of his own early next year, Openleaks.org.