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Pamela Anderson tells Trump to ‘be a hero’ and pardon Assange amid rumours president may intervene

The model has been posting pictures in a bikini to lobby president to pardon Wikileaks founder

Shweta Sharma
Wednesday 16 December 2020 07:45 GMT
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Pamela Anderson visited Julian Assange at the Belmarsh prison in London in May 2019
Pamela Anderson visited Julian Assange at the Belmarsh prison in London in May 2019 (AFP via Getty Images)
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Pamela Anderson, who has been a dogged campaigner in calling for the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to be freed from jail, called on Tuesday for outgoing president Donald Trump to “be a hero” and pardon him.

The former Baywatch star shared a picture of herself in a bikini alongside the words “smart move @POTUS” and “#JulianAssange”. 

It isn’t the first time the former Baywatch star has made such an appeal, but it comes amid growing speculation that the president could use his final days in office to intervene in the Assange case. The Wikileaks founder was jailed in London for skipping bail and fleeing inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012, and is also wanted in the US on espionage charges.

Anderson has previously dismissed rumours of a romantic relationship with Assange, but told 60 Minutes in 2018 that “I feel very close to him and he trusts me”. 

The pair met when Assange was staying at the embassy from 2012 to 2019, where he fled to avoid both the espionage charges in the US and an allegation of rape in Sweden, which was eventually dropped before he left the embassy and was immediately arrested in April last year.

In recent days a number of unofficial sources, including journalists, have taken to social media claiming the president is set to pardon the journalist imminently. However, some of the tweets were later deleted or retracted due to "faulty sourcing".

In April 2019, Assange was arrested in London and has been jailed at Belmarsh prison for the past 19 months as he fights extradition to the US. Anderson visited him in the prison alongside the Wikileaks editor-in-chief in May 2019, and described him as “the world’s most innocent man”.

Assange co-founded the whistleblower site Wikileaks in 2006 but rose to prominence in 2010 when he released material passed to him by then US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Assange said the material showed the US and its allies were committing war crimes during its occupation of Iraq.

One of the leaks showed disturbing video footage of two US AH-64 Apache helicopters attacking buildings in Baghdad in 2007, and then closing in on a group of people. Among the people were children and journalists.

Assange faces a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison if convicted in the US.

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