Julian Assange Book Deal: Assange to Keep WikiLeaks Afloat With New Book

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pictured in 2010.

Julian Assange, the controversial head of secret-document release website WikiLeaks, has signed a book deal worth more than $1 million to pay his organization's legal bills.

Assange told The Sunday Times in London that the book would be an autobiography. He reportedly signed a deal with Alfred A. Knopf for $800,000 and with Canongate books for $500,000. Knopf is an imprint of Random House publications based in the U.S.

Assange says he has been under house arrest in an English mansion waiting to attend hearings on allegations of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion until Jan. 11. He told the British paper due to his circumstances he needs to write the book to keep his website afloat.

I dont want to write this book, but I have to, Mr. Assange told the newspaper.I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat, he said.

Assange needs more than $300,000 to fight extradition to Sweden and for legal costs. He has called the charges against him a "smear campaign" by those who want to plug WikiLeaks.

Paul Bogaards, a spokesman for Random House, said Monday that the book would be a complete account of his life through the present day, including the founding of WikiLeaks and the work he has done there.

Assange is due to hand in a manuscript sometime in 2011. The book's publication date is yet to be determined.

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