But a friend of the Swedish woman – referred to as Miss A (pictured) – told the Mail: 'It really is not "all about WikiLeaks".'
A woman allegedly sexually assaulted by Julian Assange has issued a stinging rebuke to Diane Abbott.
The Labour frontbencher was accused of downplaying the allegations against the WikiLeaks founder.
Miss Abbott insisted in a TV interview that Assange had been dragged from the Ecuadorian embassy over cyber crime, saying: 'It's all about WikiLeaks.'
But a friend of the Swedish woman – referred to as Miss A – told the Mail: 'It really is not "all about WikiLeaks".'
The friend added: 'She says it is about him treating people like s***, especially women.'
Assange had been in hiding for seven years after skipping bail in 2012 to dodge being extradited to Sweden over allegations he raped one woman and sexually assaulted another in 2010.
But Miss Abbott and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called his arrest on Thursday politically motivated.
In a BBC interview, Miss Abbott, the Shadow Home Secretary, insisted he was targeted because he had embarrassed the American military.
Critics queued up to accuse Miss Abbott of 'ignoring allegations of sexual violence' – and even a Labour shadow minister branded her intervention 'disgraceful'.
The Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott has been blasted as she is accused of downplaying allegations against Julian Assange
The woman's friend told the Mail that treating Assange as a political victim was 'not helping the cause – no matter how important', and suggested Miss Abbott was aiding the WikiLeaks boss whitewashing the claims against him.
They said: 'He has, all the time, wanted to draw attention away from his own failures and has used the importance of WikiLeaks to wash his own name. It has been painful to watch.'
Vicky Atkins, the minister for women, said: 'Diane Abbott's dismissal of rape charges speaks volumes about Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.
Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court in London on Thursday
'It's astonishing that the party which prides itself on fighting for women's rights is so willing to ignore allegations of sexual violence.'
Even a Labour shadow minister admitted: 'Championing Julian Assange is the last thing we should be doing. It is disgraceful. Jeremy and Diane seem to have a blind spot.'
Miss A accused Assange of sexual assault in 2010. She claims Assange violently forced himself upon her after an initial consensual encounter.
The five-year statute of limitations on her allegation has passed.
The lawyer of another of Assange's alleged victims, referred to as Miss W in court documents, has said they will 'do all we can' to reopen the investigation in Sweden.
Assange, 47, denies assaulting the two women. Because he spent so long absconding from justice, the sexual assault allegation was dropped in 2017 because of legal time limits.
But the rape allegation can be re-opened any time before August next year, and Swedish prosecutors are now deciding whether to renew Assange's extradition request.
Assange inside his fetid lair: Revealed, the full squalid horror that drove embassy staff to finally kick him out
by Simon Walters for the Daily Mail
The full scale of disgusting personal hygiene, arrogance and paranoia that brought Julian Assange’s seven years holed up in an embassy to an end can be revealed today.
Exclusive photographs seen by the Daily Mail show how the WikiLeaks founder mounted ‘dirty protests’ at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Just weeks ago, he left soiled underpants stuffed down the lavatory in a fit of rage. On other occasions he left excrement smeared on the wall. He defied pleas not to constantly leave an electric stove on, and ignored repeated warnings not to leave half-eaten meals and unwashed dishes in the kitchen.
Staff grew so exasperated they even threw out his pet cat after he failed to clean up its mess. They also feared he had hidden a camera in its collar to spy on them.
He ignored repeated warnings not to leave half-eaten meals and unwashed dishes in the kitchen
Standing in the bathroom defiled by Assange just weeks ago, Ecuador’s UK Ambassador Jaime Marchan said: ‘When Assange wanted to be unpleasant he put excrement on the walls and underwear with excrement in the lavatory. We had to remind him to flush the toilet and clean the dishes. He had to be reminded of normal standards of behaviour all the time. He would always leave the cooker on.’
Mr Marchan, 72, a distinguished lifelong diplomat, is relieved to be rid of Assange. ‘The asylum system is to protect innocent people. [He] abused it. He is a predator.’
Just weeks ago, he left soiled underpants stuffed down the lavatory in a fit of rage. Pictured is his bathroom which he also smeared his excrement across
This newspaper is the first to have access to the embassy since Assange was dragged out of hiding after the Ecuadorian government ended his asylum status.
He now faces being jailed in the US for computer hacking, and the threat of legal action in Sweden for alleged rape.
Mr Marchan took the Mail on a tour of the embassy – and explained how he finally lost patience with his squalid and spiteful ‘tenant’.
The soiled underpants incident occurred in January – and when told to clean it up, Assange is said to have replied: ‘I won’t clean it. I won’t!’ The embassy’s cleaner had to do it instead.
Mr Marchan wrote a formal letter of complaint to Assange’s lawyers informing them he had broken a ‘hygiene protocol’ drawn up because of his dirty habits.
But they wrote back saying he had had a ‘stomach sickness’ and their photo was proof the embassy had ‘infringed his privacy’.
Staff grew so exasperated they even threw out his pet cat after he failed to clean up its mess. They also feared he had hidden a camera in its collar to spy on them
The tour also showed Assange was not as cooped up as it seemed. While he couldn’t go out, he had the run of virtually the entire embassy – which is the size of a luxurious Belgravia apartment. Unable to exercise outside, Assange caused mayhem by skateboarding down the central polished wooden corridor and playing football like a rowdy teenager.
Ecuador’s UK Ambassador Jaime Marchan, 72, said: ‘When Assange wanted to be unpleasant he put excrement on the walls and underwear with excrement in the lavatory. We had to remind him to flush the toilet and clean the dishes'
He demanded – and got – a bigger bedroom, though Mr Marchan says it was partly for vanity. The one he bagged had a balcony where Assange made speeches to Left-wing fans on the pavement.
His bedroom is now sealed off pending an investigation by the authorities. Mr Marchan added: ‘He played loud music because he said it stopped anyone listening in. It was impossible for us to work.’ The mistrust was mutual. Assange’s cat was removed because he couldn’t be bothered to look after it, though the ambassador added: ‘It could go in every room – we were suspicious it may carry a device ... to spy on us.’
Mr Marchan is full of praise for how Foreign Office minister Sir Alan Duncan helped the embassy remove its graceless tenant. ‘Without Sir Alan, we could not possibly have done this.’
He says that with hindsight, it was a mistake to give Assange refuge in the first place. He said: ‘We have proved Ecuador respects human rights but he didn’t comply with his obligations. He is very selfish. I told him, “One day you’ll realise how much Ecuador did to protect you”.’
GUY ADAMS: Telling their stories, the women who say Julian Assange tricked them into sex without protection within just days of each other
by Guy Adams for the Daily Mail
Back in August 2010, a newly-famous Julian Assange touched down in Sweden on a ten-day visit to promote and raise money for his suddenly modish non-profit outfit, Wikileaks.
At 39, the eccentric former computer hacker might not have been exactly young. But he was very much free and single, having recently started to discover the romantic perks that his rock-star status could afford.
Weeks earlier, Assange had collaborated with a number of news outlets to publish the first tranche of more than 400,000 leaked military and diplomatic cables, detailing years’ worth of US operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The coup had turned this socially-awkward Australian into a sort of a folk hero among liberals, rendering him irresistible to a certain demographic of Left-leaning young women. And Assange seemed happy to take full advantage.
Julian Assange delivers a Wikileaks seminar in Sweden in 2010 while Miss W (foreground with glasses) sits in the audience
On his very first night in Stockholm, he attempted to seduce the English girlfriend of an American journalist who’d been invited to dine with Wikileaks activists at a Lebanese restaurant called Beirut.
Over the course of the ensuing seven days, Assange would enjoy two further romantic forays, seducing a pair of young women in turn, both of whom would walk into police stations days later to accuse him of sex crimes.
Each of the two, Miss A and Miss W complained that initially consensual encounters with him had suddenly turned darker, ending in them being forced into unprotected sex in circumstances they found uncomfortable.
Their testimony set in train a series of events that would see Assange spend the next two years in British courts, fighting extradition to Sweden where he was wanted for questioning, followed by another seven hiding inside London’s Ecuadorean Embassy.
Assange, who has always protested his innocence, variously accused the two women of being ‘notorious radical feminists’ who had ‘got into a tizzy’. So who are they and what were the disputed events that spawned their now-notorious complaints?
Miss A is an experienced political activist and equal rights campaigner. In her early 30s at the time of the alleged incidents, she was involved in inviting Assange to attend a seminar entitled ‘How Truth is the First Victim of War’ and hosted by the Christian wing of Sweden’s Social Democratic party.
Planning to be out of town visiting family when he arrived mid-week she generously offered him use of her flat in Sodermalm, Stockholm. Assange, who often dossed down on the sofas of supporters, accepted.
On Friday August 13, she returned to town and went out for dinner with Assange, before returning to the one-bedroom property where they were both to spend the night before the seminar. Her statement to police alleges they then sat down to drink tea. It was at this point he began stroking her legs. They embraced, after which he began pulling off her clothes.
Miss A’s statement claims she initially attempted to put clothes back on, because the situation was ‘going too quickly’ for her liking. But she says that Assange ‘ripped them off again’, breaking a necklace in the process.
After deciding to consent to sex, she then attempted to reach for a condom. However Assange held her arms and pinned her legs to prevent her grabbing it, the statement claims.
Eventually, he agreed to wear protection. However during the ensuing moments, she felt him ‘do something’ to it with his hands. It was only afterwards that she realised it had been torn. She believes deliberately.
Despite her experience, Assange’s host allowed him to remain in her flat for much of the remainder of his visit. Some nights, she decamped to a friend’s. On others, she slept on a mattress. She alleged to police that Assange continued to make advances towards her every day.
On Wednesday August 18, she alleged he’d approached her, naked from the waist down, and rubbed himself against her.
Julian Assange arrives at Westminster Magistrates' Court after being arrested and forcibly removed from the Ecuadorian Embassy earlier this week
The arrest warrant subsequently prepared by Swedish police lists three specific allegations against Assange, which contributed to a charge of sexual assault against Miss A.
The first is of ‘unlawful coercion’ – meaning he took a consensual encounter too far. The second is he deliberately broke a condom during sex after she insisted he use one. Thirdly, he was accused of having ‘deliberately molested her’ days later.
Assange has of course never allowed himself to face these allegations in a Swedish court, and the crime has a five-year statute of limitations which passed in 2015, meaning he’s unlikely to face trial for it.
However, writing about Miss A’s claims several years later, he declared their night together was ‘unremarkable’. He added ‘she seemed totally happy’ at a party the next day. Photos of them together at the event have been published by supporters of Assange, who believe they undermine Miss A’s claims.
That day was also when Miss W came into the picture, meeting the Wikileaks founder at the aforementioned seminar. She would later tell police how she had become fascinated with Assange, a man she considered ‘brave and admirable’. She spent weeks reading about him, before apparently obtaining a press pass to the event as a photographer.
Dressing to catch his eye, she chose a shocking-pink jumper and sat in the front row. Assange, dressed in grey jeans and a suit jacket, spoke for 90 minutes.
What then unfolded has been compared to the meeting of a groupie and a pop icon. Waiting outside the venue to meet her idol, Miss W approached a member of his entourage, who invited her to join them for lunch at a local eatery called Bistro Boheme. There she struck up conversation with Assange who invited her to spend the afternoon with him.
After a short walk, she told police, they’d decided to visit a cinema. Watching the film did not appear to be on Assange’s mind: he’d instead spent his time kissing her and putting his hands inside her clothing. Walking in a park afterwards, he’s said to have declared ‘you are very attractive to me’. When they parted, the duo swapped numbers.
They didn’t speak again until Monday, 48 hours later, when Assange agreed to meet her in the evening and suggested they spend the night at her flat.
Miss W wanted to go to a hotel, but he insisted on coming to her home, in the city of Enkoping a 50-mile train ride away. Star-struck, she bought his £10 train ticket because he had no cash (and said he didn’t want to use his credit card in case his movement was being tracked).
At Miss W’s home, she told police, they moved to the bedroom and started to have sex. However Assange did not want to wear a condom, causing her to move away because she had not wanted unprotected intercourse. The Wikileaks founder had then lost interest, she alleged, and fallen asleep. However, during the night, they had both woken up and had consensual sex when ‘he agreed unwillingly to use a condom’.
Early the next morning, things took an ugly turn: Miss W says she went to buy breakfast before returning to bed and falling asleep beside Assange. She had awoken to find him on top of her, having sex.
And when she asked if he was wearing a condom, he said no. Miss W’s police statement claimed she responded ‘You better not have HIV’ and he answered: ‘Of course not.’
In Sweden, having sex with an unconscious, drunk or sleeping person can lead to a rape conviction punishable by up to six years in prison. This crime has a ten-year statute of limitations, meaning Miss W’s allegations could still see him facing trial. Assange has vigorously denied they had unconsensual sex.
When details of her police complaint leaked several years ago, he wrote that their encounter had ended amicably: She had kissed him on the cheek and asked him to call soon. However like many a sexual predator, Assange of course didn’t call.
A few days later, things escalated in the most unlikely fashion: Miss W called the office of Miss A, whom she had briefly met at the seminar, to discuss future political collaborations. In the course of their conversation, the duo realised to their anger that they had both fallen victim to Assange’s charm, within a few days of each other.
After a brief discussion, they agreed to contact Assange and asked him to take a test for STDs. However, for reasons that are unclear, he refused.
Miss W seemed especially anxious about the possibility of HIV and pregnancy. Miss A recalled her being deeply upset.
It was in this febrile state the two women, who had previously barely known each other, decided to take a momentous step which would have ramifications few could have predicted – a few days later, they walked into a police station, and sat down to tell their stories.