WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been forced, forced, forced to sign a $1.3 million book deal to pay his mounting legal bills.
New York publishing house Alfred A. Knopf confirmed Monday that it has signed Assange on to write his autobiography. There are no specifics on when it will be published.
"I don't want to write this book, but I have to," Assange told the Sunday Times in an interview. "I have already spent 200,000 pounds for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat." Assange has been charged with sexually assaulting two women in Sweden.
After being held in a London jail for a week, he was released on house arrest in a British mansion owned by one of his supporters. He has vehemently denied the charges, saying he is being chased for publishing government documents on WikiLeaks.
Interestingly, the Wall Street Journal had a piece recently that said Assange paid himself two-thirds of WikiLeaks budget for his salary or $86,000 in 2010.
I wonder how much he will really reveal in light of the furtive public life he has led so far. Either way, it is an interesting development that a man known for publishing what other people write will now have to final produce his own words.