Julian Assange Needs $1.5 Million Book Deal to Pay His Lawyers
In an interview with the Sunday Times, the WikiLeaks founder said he expects to earn at least $1.5 million in book deals, and confirmed that he would use a lot of it to pay his mounting legal fees. "I don't want to write this book, but I have to," he explained.
"I have already spent 200,000 pounds [$307,400] for legal costs and I need to defend myself and to keep WikiLeaks afloat." Assange has reportedly inked one deal with American publisher Alfred A. Knopf for roughly $800,000, and another with British publisher Canongate for about $500,000. Extra revenue from serialization will likely bump his paycheck even higher.
According to Assange, WikiLeaks was at one time receiving as much as $130,000 per day in donations. But, once companies like Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal decided to stop processing donations to the organization, that flow suddenly slowed. Assange claims that the corporate embargo has cost WikiLeaks about $650,000 -- enough to maintain operations for a full six months. Meanwhile, his ongoing legal battle against accusations of rape has drained even more money out of Assange's account. All told, both he and his organization are facing legal costs nearing $750,000.