In a recent email to news media, WikiLeaks cautioned outlets not to run “false and defamatory” stories about its founder Julian Assange, including articles about his alleged poor personal hygiene.
But whether such stories are “false” apparently is not debatable for those in close proximity to the organization’s founding member.
According to a report in San Francisco Gate last year, staff at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where Assange has been living since 2012, often complained of their guest’s poor hygiene.
It’s that lack of cleanliness, among other things, that fueled Ecuador’s recent attempts to end his five-year standoff at the Knightsbridge embassy, the International Business Times reported.
“It seems he doesn’t wash properly,” a “well-placed” source told the news outlet, noting the issue has prompted repeated complaints from staff at the embassy.
Assange reportedly complained of noise from a loading bay near his hideout, which resulted in a female restroom being converted into a bedroom for him. The move left Assange sharing a single restroom with embassy staff.
Others have complained about Assange’s lack of hygiene in the past, including those who have worked with him.
“Julian ate everything with his hands, and he always wiped his fingers on his pants. I have never seen pants as greasy as his in my whole life,” one of his closest aides, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, told the Times.
Jeremie Zimmermann, a friend and former colleague, wrote in 2012 that “unless the people around him force him to shower, he might not change his clothes for days.”