For a man whose career has been dedicated to transparency, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange keeps a tight lid on his own life. Well, now details of his life are being leaked.
The British newspaper the Daily Mail has conducted an intensive investigation into Assange's secret private life, and on Sunday published its findings.
Assange was raised by a single mother, living in 37 different Australian towns by the time he was 14. The paper reports his mother was basically on the run from Assange's unnamed father, who turned into something of a stalker.
Because of this, Assange was educated mostly at home, and as a result was "thus marked out as a loner from an early age."
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He became an early adapter of computers. A former neighbor of the 16 or 17-year-old Assange said, "He didn't go out much at all. He spent almost all his time in there with his Commodore computer. He rarely came out of the bedroom."
The report claims that when Assange was 18, he got his 16-year-old girlfriend pregnant. It writes:
Their son Daniel was born when Assange's girlfriend was 17, but it seems that even the arrival of a child was not enough to drag the fledgling-hacker away from his screen. As one former resident recalls: "We'd see her walking down to the shops with the baby in a pushchair. She almost always seemed to be alone... it was a pretty rare occasion to see her and her boyfriend out together with the baby."
Assange was already a computer hacker in October 1991 when police raided the couple's house outside of Melbourne. They found dozens of computer discs filled with access codes for Web sites as well as stolen passwords for hundreds of networks around the world, including the U.S. Air Force.
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He was charged with a number of offenses relating to computer hacking. It was at that point that his girlfriend left with their baby.
It took five years for those charges to be settled -- he pleaded guilty to 24 counts in exchange for a small fine and no prison time.
In the meantime, Assange and his ex-girlfriend spent nine years battling for custody of their son, which ended with a 1999 agreement.
Daniel Assange is now 20 and is following in his Dad's footsteps -- he works for a software design company in Australia.