06:49 AEST Mon Aug 8 2011
While his secret-leaking website has become a platform to reveal innumerable political and military documents of international significance, details of Assange the man now spark great interest.
In a new book, British journalist Heather Brooke details her many meetings and experiences with the 40-year-old Australian, who is under house arrest pending court proceedings that seek his extradition to Sweden on sexual assault and rape allegations against two women.
The book, The Revolution Will Be Digitised, due for release on August 18, Brooke’s initial admiration of Assange turns sour.
“Assange was a man who dismissed all views but his own; who showed an apparent indifference to any human cost of leaking documents; and whose behaviour towards women has resulted in charges laid against him for sexual assault and rape,” reads an excerpt from the book published in British newspaper The Mail on Sunday.
Brooke details how the 1.9m-tall Assange, who used to wear a platinum-blond bob, now cut short, told her the story of his hair.
“It went white as a result of a childhood experiment with a cathode ray tube that went wrong,” Assange told Brooke.
It is believed the incident happened when he was aged 15, up to which age he was blond.
He insisted his current hair colour is real.
“I used to have it down my back. When I was travelling in Vietnam it got very annoying because everywhere I went people would want to touch it,” he said.
While admitting to being “impressed by Assange’s bravery in publishing such material”, Brooke was also sceptical of some of Assange’s claims, including that his grandfather was a Taiwanese pirate, and that well before the notoriety of WikiLeaks, he had been tailed by US State Department officials.
The Mail article ends with Brooke stating that Assange has lost the faith of many people who once admired him, including her.