When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange struck a deal with publishers Alfred A. Knopf and Canongate back in December to write his memoirs, he expressed hope that the book would be a "unifying document" and that the $1.5 million advance would help sustain him in his various legal battles. But according to a new Guardian report, that deal has "fallen through, at least in its original form, after Assange indicated he no longer wished to write the kind of book that was initially envisaged."
It's still not totally clear if Assange was worried about jeopardizing his legal status or just didn't care much for the book business. The Guardian's story leaves things open to interpretation, first citing intel that Assange had become "unhappy with the process" before noting he was also wary of the book giving "ammunition to US prosecutors, whom he fears may seek his extradition on terrorist charges relating to WikiLeaks disclosures."
A spokesman from U.K. publishing house Canongate denied that Assange was bailing on his memoirs, telling the paper that the publisher's contract with Assange is "very much alive" and plans to distribute the finished product 35 countries remain on-track. Assange's agent and ghost writer both declined to comment.
The Atlantic's Nicholas Jackson reported back in December that Assange was going to be facing some grueling deadlines, with "a first draft due to his editor by March."