Journalist Heather Brooke has told Wired magazine how she was threatened by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his "Nanny" after an insider passed some of the leaked US cables to her.
Brooke passed them to the Guardian, essentially releasing the newspaper, in principle, from any prior agreements it had made to Assange about the documents.
Wired notes: "According to a recent book published by WikiLeaks defector Daniel Domscheit-Berg, when WikiLeaks learned that an insider had passed the cables to Brooke, the organization made the insider sign a declaration saying the documents had been taken from him illegally. Domscheit-Berg didn’t name the insider in his book."
Asked about the accuracy of the Domscheit-Berg and Guardian accounts, Brooke wrote in an e-mail to Wired: “The data was shown to me on a confidential basis to protect both my source and myself. Somehow Julian found out about this. He exposed my source to a newspaper (see the Guardian’s book) and I understand that the source was threatened by people working for Julian to sign some kind of document they’d drafted.
"I’ve also been threatened by Julian and ‘the Nanny’ who made dark intimations that because I hold an American passport I might find myself in a 'difficult and potential risky position'.”
According to Wired: "The 'nanny' is a forty-something female friend from Assange’s past who has been described as someone who writes speeches for Assange and occasionally flies in to take care of situations he doesn’t want to deal with."
Brooke added that the comments from Assange and the Nanny “led me to believe they were trying to scare me with a U.S. investigation, which, coming from them, was so rich with irony as to be laughable. Nevertheless it did prompt me to consult my lawyer. I was reassured that these were empty threats and I had nothing to worry about.”
Via David Leigh on Twitter