Pamela Anderson has launched an impassioned defence of Julian Assange, who is facing a rape allegation in Sweden, drawing on her own experience of sexual violence.
Anderson says she is speaking out as “a woman who has survived rape and sexual abuse ... to this day, I remember the excruciating pain”. She added that she would “never defend a rapist, there can never be an excuse for this crime, nor for offenders enjoying impunity”. But the former Baywatch star goes on to allege that Assange “has never been convicted for a sexual offence, that he has never even been formally charged with one, and that there never has been any supporting evidence against him”.
Assange is currently in Belmarsh Prison, serving a 50-week sentence for breaking the terms of his bail. In 2012 he claimed asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy following the request to extradite him to Sweden. Since he was expelled from the embassy in March, the US has charged him with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.
Anderson, who has remained a staunch supporter of the Australian, wrote on her website on Monday that “we all know that Sweden acts in bad faith… This is not about justice for rape. This is about the rape of justice.”
Anderson also claimed the case was “not about who Julian is” but “is about who we are and how we are dealing with dissent and fundamental challenges to the secrecy with which politics, business and other affairs of public interest have been traditionally conducted”.
Eva-Marie Persson, the Swedish deputy director of prosecutions, reopened the rape investigation into Assange earlier this month. The alleged crime happened in 2010 and an initial investigation was put on hold in 2017.
“The decision . . . to discontinue the investigation on May 19, 2017 was not motivated by difficulties related to evidence,” Persson said, adding “my assessment is that there is still probable cause to suspect that Mr Assange committed rape or a lesser offence.”
Watson says Farage is a public enemy
Tom Watson has claimed Nigel Farage represents “the creep of fascism across Europe”, in the strongest attack yet by a Labour figure on the leader of the Brexit Party. In a video posted this morning, Watson said Farage was “a danger to our democracy” and pointed to politicians he has praised, such as Vladimir Putin and Marine Le Pen. The Labour deputy leader said a good result for the Brexit Party tomorrow would be a “boost for a sinister international league of the worst, most divisive and dangerous politicians from across Europe”.
A swastika has been scratched into the door of a parliamentary lift. “It’s disgusting,” said Oliver Denton Lieberman, an aide to Tulip Siddiq MP, who noticed it. “I was quite surprised to see it,” he told The Londoner, adding “you don’t expect to see fascists in Parliament.” Lieberman told the police, who are looking into the matter.
Theresa May isn’t the only Tory struggling to leave Europe. Brexiteer and former chancellor Nigel Lawson can’t sell his house in Gascony, which he wants to before returning to the UK. The house went on the market earlier this year but the asking price has already dropped €100,000 to €895,000. Quel dommage.
The Firths hit the roof in Cannes while Brooklyn brings a plus one
The Firths stepped forth at the Gentleman’s Journal and Chopard Dinner last night during the Cannes Film Festival. Actor Colin and his environmental activist wife Livia were pictured together on the Chopard Rooftop at the Hotel Martinez among a host of other A-list guests.
Livia recently turned the red carpet green at the Met Gala, wearing a dress made from “100 per cent post-consumer water bottles, which are processed and spun into yarn”.
Brooklyn came to Cannes too, as the young Beckham turned out with his girlfriend, model Hana Cross. Model Betty Bachz was snapped receiving a big smooch from Royal Ballet star Eric Underwood, while Pixie Lott posed with her fiancé Oliver Cheshire.
Back in Blighty Laura Robson, the tennis player who recently returned to the game after surgery, was at the Chelsea Flower Show.
I’m not sure if you can tell, but I was very happy to meet therapy dogs Spartacus and Harry today pic.twitter.com/qA9ng3nGSW— Matt Hancock (@MattHancock)May 21, 2019
Mutts from the Therapy Dogs Nationwide charity descended on Parliament yesterday, and Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, was a swift adopter with hound Harry Potter, while Vernon Coaker and Matthew Offord stroked a red setter. The MPs’ happiness persuades The Londoner that dogs should be a permanent fixture in politics.
Andrea Jenkyns’s war with Tory colleagues intensifies: Antoinette Sandbach accused her of not having read an article she was quoting from. When Change UK’s Anna Soubry said she was “some piece of work”, Jenkyns spat back: “Hypocrite. You left because you’re not a Conservative.” Seconds out for round three?
At David McGillivray’s book launch Kirsty Buchanan, No 10’s ex-head of press said she has “survivor’s guilt”, while at an Intelligence Squared debate Jacob Rees-Mogg revealed why he’s interested in the Victorians: “Had I been a girl, I would have been called Victoria.”
Renee could be back again as Bridget
Could Bridget Jones be coming back for a fourth round of misadventures?
In an interview on an American talk show yesterday, actor Renée Zellweger was asked about her best-loved role. “Before we go, I have to ask, are you up for a fourth Bridget Jones movie, and if you are, where would you see her now?” asked the interviewer. Zellweger replied: “I know Helen [Fielding] has written the book and I love this character. So, I mean, if they call me, I’ll go running.”
A possible working title? “Bridget Jones: the Menopause,” the actor joked.
Quote of the day
'Walking around the block... I try to keep it a little economy'
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