WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's new profile in Rolling Stone makes one thing very clear: Assange very much likes the people who like him and he'll remind you there are still plenty of them. The silver-haired provocateur sat down with Michael Hasting's for a five-hour Q&A (it's available online today), in which conversation zooms from Bradley Manning to Assange's high school days to Sarah Palin "calling for his assassination". But one thing that Assange makes very clear throughout is that he's very well liked and that he isn't ambushed by haters (as one would think with calls for his assassination), but rather by his adoring, very supportive fans. What caught our attention is that his
groupies fans, admirers, supporters, advocates--whatever you call them--are even better than the press when it comes to hunting this elusive man down:
Women wanting to marry you? How many over the past year?
Hundreds of women would show up?
Sometimes also men. We had one, Captain Morgan, who claimed to work for Intel, and was a sea captain. He sold his boat to turn up at the front door, saying we were the only organization on Earth worth working for. One woman from Catalonia took a black cab from London and turned up at our house on the edge of the estate with a £450 taxi bill, which she'd convinced the driver I would pay once our romantic dispute was sorted out. She and the taxi driver convinced one of the neighbors to let them stay the night – the taxi driver refused to leave until he got his money.
There have been groupies. No, I won't call them groupies. Young women who have flown from Norway and Sweden and turned up at the front door. When I was in prison, absurdly, the only people to get any mail through in the first week were six women who wanted to give me cakes and blankets, which I rejected. But apparently there are women who try and visit any famous prisoner of a certain age, and know how to get through the system. Whereas not a single journalist from around the world was able to do so.
For Assange's full interview, head on over to Rolling Stone.