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Pamela Anderson’s unlikely relationship with Julian Assange isn’t just surface level, with the actress and author expressing a profound connection with the WikiLeaks founder built on mutual respect in her memoir Love, Pamela.
The Baywatch actress detailed in her newly released book, out Tuesday (coinciding with the release of her Netflix doc Pamela, a love story), how she would regularly visit Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. She added that their friendship didn’t stop when he was sent to the supermax prison, Belmarsh, saying he requested that she be the first to visit him.
“It was a shocking experience — the five checkpoints, the shouting and screaming while we crossed through the yard” to go through a separate entrance, Anderson explained in her book. “It was the most frightening place I’ve ever visited. …[Assange] doesn’t belong there.”
Assange came under international fire in 2010 after he published several classified documents, which were provided by U.S. Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. He was the subject of investigations in a handful of counties and also faces more than a dozen charges in the United States.
The model has clearly expressed her opinion on Assange’s incarceration, saying she has taken on “public-facing missions” to try and bring positive awareness to his case. “I tried to find more clever ways to help my friend, to bring attention to Julian’s wrongful incarceration,” Anderson said, even booking a commercial in Australia so she could meet with his mother.
“She came to my hotel room and met me with a warm embrace, a strong hugger, just like her son,” she explained in the memoir. “I had brought with me the cash resources she needed, as a donation, which she used to help send two MPs from Parliament to visit Julian in jail.”
The Home Improvement actress said she felt compelled to combat any smear campaigns targeting Assange. While she was in Australia, she had written a letter to the prime minister at the time, Scott Morrison, hoping to meet with him and ask the government for help. “He responded cheekily in the press by saying he’d love to meet me if he could bring a few of his buddies along,” she wrote. “That didn’t go over well — women were unimpressed with his insensitive remarks, which, by then, had reached the international press.”
Anderson believes they wouldn’t do anything to help due to fear of the United States.
While she struggled to get the attention and help that she so strongly believes Assange deserves, she added that his mother, Christine, did give her advice to try and help her with her mission as an activist. Anderson said his mother told her that while she does deserve more respect from people, she doesn’t get it because of the “way I had utilized my image.”
Although she said she appreciated her concern and advice, Anderson’s response to that was, “I am who I am, which is a combination of all I know, and I’ve always believed that striving to be a sensual person, or being sexy, should not conflict with intelligence. Women have fought hard so that we do not need to limit ourselves. And this confirmed for me that I had to use all I had even more to get attention for what was right.”
When speaking to The Hollywood Reporter about his Netflix film, Pamela, a love story director Ryan White explained that the documentary spends minimal time on Anderson’s relationship with Assange because she writes about it in the memoir.
“Everyone has strong feelings about Assange from every different angle, but Pamela is so drawn to Julian Assange because she sees him as the most extreme example of transparency and the truth,” said White. “That runs the throughline of Pamela’s entire life. You can draw that back to her parents and honesty and relationships. Pamela is just desperate for direct honesty and romanticism in every way. She sees Assange and WikiLeaks as the extreme version of speaking truth to power. So it felt important to show that as an extension of that, but not necessarily go into: Was that another boyfriend of yours? I asked, of course, but it’s not in the cut because it didn’t feel important to the story we were telling.”
Adding, “So, we don’t go into: Was there a romantic relationship? The press can ask Pamela. She’ll go more into it in her memoir.”
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