Julian Assange’s Seven Strange Years in Self-Imposed Isolation – The New York Times

Vaughan Smith, who had been a longtime supporter of Mr. Assange and helped put up his bail money, said that “Julian’s a big bloke, with big bones, and he fills the room physically and intellectually.”

“It’s a tiny embassy with a tiny balcony,” he added, “small, hot and with not great air flow, and it must be jolly difficult for everyone there.”

But from there, Mr. Assange for years held court for admirers and famous curiosity seekers, among them the soccer star Eric Cantona, and Nigel Farage, the pro-Brexit radio host and former head of U.K. Independence Party.

Still, Mr. Assange’s isolation was wearing on him, a friend said on Thursday, especially the long, lonely weekends in an essentially empty embassy he could not leave.

Even his friends have described him as difficult, a narcissist with an outsized view of his importance and a disinterest in mundane matters like personal hygiene.

He was becoming deeply depressed and wondered about simply walking out, the friend said, speaking on condition of anonymity. And relations with his hosts were becoming deeply strained, even adversarial.


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