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US set me up on rape claims says Assange

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was warned that the US government wanted to set him up, according to an unofficial autobiography published today despite his attempts to block its release.

In the book, Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography, the whistle-blowing website's creator also admits sleeping with the two women who have made sexual assault claims against him. But he says the rape allegations are either part of the US conspiracy against him or motivated by his failure to return their calls.

Publishers Canongate Books decided to put the memoir on sale as Assange, above, attempted to cancel his contract after reading a first draft.

In one excerpt, he writes: "I did not rape those women and cannot imagine anything that happened between us that would make them think so, except malice after the fact, a joint plan to entrap me, or a terrible misunderstanding that was stoked up between them," he says.

"I may be a chauvinist pig or some sort but I am no rapist, and only a distorted version of sexual politics could attempt to turn me into one. They both had sex with me willingly and were happy to hang out with me afterwards."

Assange (40) was warned about the potential use of a "honeytrap", the book says.

He talks about the "addictive" thrill of hacking into the Pentagon and Nasa.