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Ghostwriter calls Assange 'mercurial character who could not bear his own secrets'

ANI  |  London 

The writer who worked with Julian Assange for his abortive autobiography has reportedly revealed that the WikiLeaks founder is a 'mercurial character' who couldn't bear his own secrets.

Andrew O'Hagan, an award winning, Booker-nominated novelist and non-fiction writer, was brought into the project of penning the Australian's life in 201', when he was living with a group of supporters at Ellingham Hall in Norfolk, while on bail over allegations of rape and sexual assault in Sweden.

According to The Guardian, O'Hagan finally broke his silence about his experiences with the Australian, three years after he was first introduced to him, and revealed that Assange, the man who put himself in charge of disclosing the world's secrets simply couldn't bear his own.

He said that the story of his life mortified him and sent him scurrying for excuses, and he hadn't wanted to do the book from the beginning, which is why the highest profile and most lucrative book deals of recent times ultimately collapsed.

O'Hagan describes Assange as a mercurial character who was, by turns, passionate, funny, lazy, courageous, vain, paranoid, moral and manipulative.

He said that Assange's lawyers persuaded him for Canongate's 2.5 million dollars deal, saying it would cover his mounting legal costs.

However, as the deadline to deliver a manuscript approached, Assange was 'totally shocked' at the prospect of his own life story being told.

The report said Canongate published a version of O'Hagan's manuscript as Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Biography in September 2011, selling fewer than 700 copies, without Australian's consent, which Assange denounced.

When O'Hagan once asked Assange 'just how good' NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was, he was told that Snowden was number nine while Assange put himself on spot three in the among computer hackers.

First Published: Sat, February 22 2014. 13:39 IST