Julian Assange Is a Real Life Humbert Humbert

Back in 2004 Julian Assange, then 33, chatted up a 19-year-old student, Elizabeth (not her real name) at the University of Melbourne. He charmed her, then walked her home and kissed her.

Over the next few days he pursued her, and Gawker’s Adrian Chen has the exclusive, detailing Assange’s increasingly stalkerish e-pistles.

After Elizabeth politely declined his morning-after missive, she says Assange called her at her parents home. She was creeped out, because he wouldn’t say how he got her phone number. 

Assange, meanwhile, seemed to have been feeling Romantic. “When I first wrote the heat of your breast pressed against me was still vivid in my mind.” My, my Julian!

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His letters quickly take on a Nabakovian flair, filled with coy riddles and shifting realities.

The next time Assange called, Elizabeth pretended to be someone else. Assange persisted, writing her an email detailing the call to this alternate world, in which a strange young woman who does not recognize him lives in Elizabeth’s house. 

Next a love poem in the form of a puzzle based on the license plate number of Elizabeth’s car. Poor Liza isn’t bright enough to decipher his number, but she’s smart enough to be frightened of this further intrusion into her private life. 

When Elizabeth tells Assange to stop calling, a side of him emerges which is chilling, particularly in the context of the rape and molestation charges he is currently facing in Sweden. 

“A man feels that which is soft, warm and yielding in his arms must also be in other circumstances,” he writes her. 

And then, quick as a Wikileak, he’s back to his old romantic self, closing with a line worthy of Pale Fire

“You pulled a tiny petal off my world, just when I thought you were to add one but all around in the meadow, where I shall again dance and skip and sing till some fool girl should brush my wing.”

Be sure to check out the full emails over at Gawker, they are worth it. 

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Julian Assange Is a Real Life Humbert Humbert