Video: ‘Passionate’ Assange sought online love
Transcript of: ‘Passionate’ Assange sought online love
MATT LAUER, co-host: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is expected to appear in a British court today in relation to the charges of sexual assault that he's facing in Sweden . And overnight, Assange released his first statement since his arrest last week. NBC 's Peter Alexander has details on that. Peter , good morning to you.
PETER ALEXANDER reporting: Matt , good morning to you. Julian Assange 's hearing is expected to start a short time from now. His lawyer will ask the judge once again to set bail for his release. Also overnight, Assange 's own mother came all the way from Australia , meeting with her son behind bars, and released this statement on his behalf, saying, quote, "My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the ideals I've expressed. This circumstance shall not shake them. If anything, this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct." And we're learning new details this morning about Assange himself from what seems like an unlikely source. Julian Assange arrived at court this morning in the back of this prison van, his mother speaking in his defense.
Ms. CHRISTINE ASSANGE (Julian Assange's Mother): As a mother, I'm asking the world to stand up for my brave son.
ALEXANDER: He is the mysterious hacker at the heart of an international storm. But before the scandal exploded, Assange was reportedly also a single man looking for love online. The profile of the then 36-year-old, going by the name Harry Harrison , includes several photos for potential partners to check out. He writes, "I am danger," and describes himself as "passionate and often pig-headed activist intellectual seeks siren for love affair , children and occasional criminal conspiracy," that he's looking for a "spirited, erotic nonconformist," concluding, "Do not write to me if you are timid. Write to me if you are brave." NBC News cannot independently confirm the profile was created by Assange , but OkCupid says it's existed for several years, last updated in December 2006 , the same month WikiLeaks published its first document. Now Assange faces possible extradition to Sweden , where he's a wanted man on allegations of sexual misconduct with two women he met at this Stockholm WikiLeaks seminar; allegations Assange vehemently denies. Many Swedes have their own theories about what they suspect happened.
Mr. JONAS BJORCK (TV4, Swedish Television): All this fuss about it happened just because one of the parts -- partners in this what you call triangle was Julian Assange .
ALEXANDER: An aspiring investigative journalist at Oxford University , Isabelle Fraser , spent three days with Assange and his WikiLeaks team this fall. She describes his spark and magnetic personality.
Ms. ISABELLE FRASER: When you're just chatting to him, he's funny, intelligent, you know, and loose and not at all like this kind of rigid media persona that -- when you're interviewing him.
ALEXANDER: This weekend Swedish television , SVT , aired a new documentary on the WikiLeaks affair, interviewing the controversial founder shortly before his arrest.
Mr. JULIAN ASSANGE: Every release that we do of material has a second message, and that is we set examples. If you engage in immoral and unjust behavior, it will be found out, it will be revealed, and you will suffer the consequences.
ALEXANDER: And if the judge sets bail at today's hearing, Julian Assange could actually walk out of this courthouse today, Matt , as a free man. By the way, worth mentioning, the British prime minister today alerted government workers to be on the lookout in case Internet activists, Assange supporters, try to hack into government Web sites again today. Matt :