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Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:40 PM

A year on and it's still unclear: Does God have a Julian Assange complex?

Simon Kelner
Thursday 27 June 2013

... I met Assange only once, at a small dinner party he was forced to leave early as a condition of his electronic tagging arrangements. I had one direct conversation with him, which I opened with a gentle enquiry about the current state of his legal case. He fixed me with his alien-like stare. "The Swedish prosecutor," he said, and then paused for effect and stress, "...who is the ugliest woman I've ever met." This was the last thing I expected from a man whose sexual behaviour was under the most intense scrutiny, but he warmed to this peculiar theme. "She's like a cross between a Sherman tank and Joseph Stalin." I countered with a sarcastic response, along the lines that I never knew that good looks and feminity were important requisites for a senior legal figure, but he carried on regardless, assuring those around the table of his persecution at the hands of evil governments.

... I was so put off by that exchange over dinner, which - superficial and relatively insignificant though it may have been - is clearly very revealing of the mindset of a man who apparently has a problem with treating women in a respectful way. Which, it should be remembered, is at the root of why he is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy, and probably will be so for some time to come.


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