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WikiLeaks Boss's Love E-Mails Leaked

PTI 17 Dec 2010, 9:39:19 IST
He's the whistleblower who has exposed the secrets of  governments across the world.But  WikiLeaks boss Julian Assange has some embarrassing documents in his own past he would rather the world didn't know about.A series of emails detailing his 'stalkery courtship' of a teenager are revealed - two years before he founded his notorious website.

Under the headline 'The creepy, lovesick emails of Julian Assange' the gossip website Gawker reproduces emails to the teenager in his pre-WikiLeaks days.

On the day Assange was freed on conditional bail at the High Court  pending moves to extradite him to Sweden on allegations of  sexually assaulting two women, Gawker details his 'secrets'.Gawker claims Assange, then 33, wooed Elizabeth - not her real name - after he met the 19-year-old at bar near the Australian city of Melbourne in April 2004.

She was studying physics and mathematics at the university and approached the older man with long white hair because he seemed 'different' to the other men she had met.She told Gawker: 'He just seemed kind of quiet and nerdy. I didn't think he was sexy or anything. Just strangely alluring for a 19-year-old girl.'

Assange walked her back to the nearby town where she lived with her parents and unexpectantly kissed her.She said: ' 'It was like, fine, whatever. He wasn't creepy about it, and he didn't try anything weird.'

They swapped email addresses and soon after Elizabeth received a message inviting her on a date. Elizabeth does not remember how she responded but was dismissive because 'I wasn't into him.'

The following day he called her parents' home even though she had not given him the number. Elizabeth was shocked and angry when Assange would not tell her how he had obtained it.She told Gawker that she was 'cold' with Assange who responded with an email criticising her for not being polite to him.

But Assange was not put off and rang a couple days later. This time, Elizabeth pretended to be someone else. Assange appeared to mistake this as flirtation.

After a few more emails got him nowhere, Assange tried to get Elizabeth to call him - by using a riddle.

Assange worked out the make and license plate number of her car and put it into a riddle which, when solved, would reveal his phone number:

Elizabeth emailed back that she couldn't call him because the clues didn't give her his number. So Assange decided to go back to calling her, and later that day sent an email asking the best time.

Elizabeth finally  told him to stop phoning her house. Assange then tried to give her  yet another way to contact him—through his (now-defunct) personal website.

Finally, Assange gave up. But not before making up for his humiliation with a stream of overwrought put-downs in an email.

Today Elizabeth says she never felt threatened by Assange's behaviour. 'I don't think he's a bad person,' she said. 'He's just a funny bugger.'