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Assange Book Deal: WikiLeaks Founder Lands $1.5 Million Autobiography Deal

Assange Book Deal

The Huffington Post   First Posted: 12/26/10 05:45 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:20 PM ET

For weeks, newspapers around the globe have been pouring barrels of ink to tell the story of Julian Assange. Now he plans to spill some of his own.

Not exactly known for keeping secrets, the WikiLeaks founder is working on an autobiography. The book deal is estimated to be in the neighborhood of $1.5 million and he's expected to deliver the manuscript in March.

According to SBS, an Australian news outlet, he told Britain's Sunday Times that, "I don't want to write this book, but I have to." Assange is currently defending himself from criminal charges in Sweden, where two women have accused him of sexual assault. His whistleblowing organization is also under mounting pressure -- from cyber attacks on their website to financial companies refusing to provide basic services -- after releasing thousands of previously confidential diplomatic cables. "I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat," he added.

The AFP breaks down Assange's deal:

The Australian said he would receive 800,000 dollars (600,000 euros) from Alfred A. Knopf, his American publisher, and a British deal with Canongate is worth 325,000 pounds (380,000 euros, 500,000 dollars).

Money from other markets and serialisation is expected to raise the total to 1.1 million pounds, he said.

It was recently announced that Assange is drawing a salary of roughly $86,000 per year from WikiLeaks.

News of Assange's book comes on the heels of an announcement for another WikiLeaks tell-all, this one schedule for February by the organization's former spokesman, Daniel Domscheit-Berg (also known as Daniel Schmitt).

According to the Associated Press:

The book is called "Inside Wikileaks: My Time with Julian Assange at the World's Most Dangerous Website." Crown [Publishers] says it "will reveal the evolution, finances and inner tensions" of the organization that obtains and posts confidential government documents.

Schmitt met Assange in 2007. He left WikiLeaks three months ago over personal, ethical and political differences with Assange and announced plans to launch a platform on his own, Openleaks.org, to start early next year.

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