Elizabeth (not her real name) met Assange one night in April 2004, about two years before Assange started his now-infamous whistle-blowing website Wikileaks. She was 19 at the time; Assange was 33 and a student at the University of Melbourne studying physics and mathematics. Elizabeth spotted Assange at a bar near Melbourne and approached the older man with the long white hair because he seemed different than other guys she’d met.
“I started talking to him and he just seemed kind of quiet and nerdy,” she told us in a phone interview. “I didn’t think he was sexy or anything. Just strangely alluring for a 19-year-old girl.” Assange flirted with her, showing off by explaining complex equations and joking about her mathematical ignorance.
They chatted until the bar closed, and Assange walked Elizabeth back to the small town where she lived with her parents. Walking down a small country road, Assange kissed Elizabeth. She wasn’t particularly thrilled by this development, but it didn’t put her off too much either. “It was like, fine, whatever,” Elizabeth said. “He wasn’t creepy about it, and he didn’t try anything weird.”
Soon after, Elizabeth received this email inviting her on a date: (click on images to make them larger)
Elizabeth doesn’t remember how she responded and no longer has her reply, but it was probably dismissive because “I wasn’t into him,” she said. She certainly didn’t give him her phone number, which explains why she was shocked when Assange called the house where she lived with her parents the following day. The call went about as poorly as you might expect after Assange wouldn’t tell Elizabeth how he got her number.
“I was really cold because he somehow found out information about me and I didn’t know how and it scared me,” she said.
But Assange wasn’t discouraged. (How could any woman not want him?) After his call, he emailed to whine at her for not being more polite on the phone:
She replied that she wasn’t interested, but Assage still was. Assange countered with a wistful remembrance of their night together after the bar that existed only in his sick mind. And he admits he doesn’t want to be a part of her world, nor does he want her in his, but he misses the “heat of her breast” pressed against him.
A couple days later, Assange tried calling Elizabeth again. This time, Elizabeth pretended to be someone else because she was becoming increasingly creeped out by Assange’s persistence. But judging from Assange’s next email, he mistakenly interpreted this as a coy flirtation:
After a few more emails got him nowhere, Assange decided to change tack. Instead of calling Elizabeth, he would try to get Elizabeth to call him. But he chose probably the creepiest way possible to give her his phone number. Somehow Assange figured out the make and license plate number of her car. Then he incorporated it into a riddle which, when solved, would reveal his phone number…the guy was stalking her
More weirded out than ever, Elizabeth emailed back that she couldn’t call him because the riddle didn’t give her his number. So Assange decided to go back to calling her, and later that day sent an email asking the best time to call: