WikiLeaks' Assange to Sell Memoirs for More than $1M


WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has agreed to write a memoir for more than $1 million through U.S. publisher Random House in an effort to pay mounting legal bills and keep his controversial whistle blowing Web site afloat.

The majority of the cash comes from rights to sell Assange’s autobiography in the U.S. and U.K.

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In an interview this week with U.K. newspaper The Sunday Times, Assange said he would receive about $502,000 from U.K. publisher Canongate Books and $800,000 from U.S publishing house Alfred A. Knopf, a unit of Random House.

After the book is published, he expects to make at least one million more pounds.

"I don't want to write this book, but I have to," Assange told the Sunday Times. "I have already spent £200,000 ($307,408) for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat."

The 39-year-old Australian and his group have fallen under intense criticism for their release of hundreds of thousands of confidential documents, including some 500,000 classified U.S. military files regarding wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The group continues to release hundreds of thousands of secret documents on U.S. wars and foreign policy, including some 250,000 cables from U.S. embassies around the world, the largest of its kind in history.

The latest leak of U.S. cables outraged officials and led companies such as MasterCard (NYSE:MA), eBay's (NASDAQ:EBAY) PayPal, Visa (NYSE:V) and (NASDAQ:AMZN) to cut ties with the site.

Assange himself remains under the grips of a legal battle with Swedish authorities, who want him extradited to Sweden from the U.K. for rape accusations, which Assange has denied.

Random House expects the manuscript to be delivered some time next year, however it has not set a timeline for publication, a company spokesman told The Wall Street Journal.

A spokesman told the Journal that Random House was very excited to be publishing the book.