WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has agreed to write an autobiography, which should net him around $1.3 million.
In an interview with the Sunday Times (subscription required), Assange revealed that the book will be published in the UK as well as the U.S. He would receive $800,000 from U.S. publisher Alfred A. Knopf, a unit of Random House, and £325,000 ($502,000) from UK publisher Canongate Books Ltd.
A spokesman for Random House confirmed the deal, but not the amount. “We are very excited to be publishing this book. The work that Assange has been doing at WikiLeaks () has tremendous importance around the world,” he said.
Assange’s motives for writing an autobiography are quite clear: he needs the money. “I don’t want to write this book, but I have to. I have already spent £200,000 for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat,” Assange told the Sunday Times.
After WikiLeaks came into possession of and started publishing more than 250,000 secret U.S. government cables, the site and its founder have had a great deal of costly problems. The site has been battered by DDoS attacks and was refused service by several companies, such as PayPal and Amazon (). Assange is wanted in Sweden on charges of sex crimes and has been denied service by the Swiss bank PostFinance.