ONE of the women claiming she was sexually assaulted by Julian Assange took a "trophy photo" of him lying naked in her bed, he says.
The white-haired computer impresario had been invited to stay in her empty flat when he visited Stockholm to give a lecture last August, shortly after WikiLeaks released tens of thousands of classified US documents on the Afghanistan war.
Mr Assange, 39, and unmarried, said the woman had returned home early and insisted he sleep in her bed. He does not feel he needs any excuses for what happened next. "We went to bed, and things went on from there," he said.
However, the 31-year-old woman, who is identified in legal documents as Miss A, subsequently went to the police.
Her claim was that although he had reluctantly used a condom at first, he then appeared to have ripped it. Having unprotected sex without a partner's consent can be considered a crime in Sweden.
Mr Assange, who is staying at Ellingham Hall, the mansion where he has lived since being arrested and released on bail pending an extradition hearing, said he was bewildered by the allegations. He argued that Miss A's behaviour, beginning with the taking of the photograph, had given no indication of any problem between them.
"The day after this incident, she invited friends around to her flat for a dinner in honour of me," he said. "Does that sound like someone who was upset by what had happened? And at the dinner were a couple who had offered to have me as their guest. Instead, she insisted I remain with her. I stayed the rest of the week."
Mr Assange, whose WikiLeaks organisation has infuriated US officials by releasing a stream of classified information, has led a nomadic life in recent months, moving from country to country "as the threats against us shifted", and has become the object of attention from women drawn by what they perceive to be the glamour of his mission.
Mr Assange has also been accused of sexual assault by another young woman he slept with during his trip to Sweden.
According to him, the woman, named only as Miss W, arrived at a lunch in a revealing pink cashmere sweater, flirted with him, and took him home.
She says they had consensual sex but she woke up the next morning to find him having intercourse with her to which she had not consented.
When she asked him if he was wearing anything, he had allegedly said: "I am wearing you."
He said he believed his accusers became angry when the younger woman, Miss W, contacted Miss A and they realised he had been to bed with both of them in swift succession. They went to the police station together, apparently to seek advice. A policewoman who heard their stories is said to have suggested they could pursue criminal charges.
Mr Assange is now wanted on suspicion of rape, sexual coercion and sexual assault. It is important to him that it is known he has not yet been charged with any crime anywhere else.
Mr Assange regards himself as a victim of radicalism. "Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism," he said. "I fell into a hornets' nest of revolutionary feminism."
Most recently, however, he has been preoccupied with financial problems as Mastercard, PayPal, Amazon and Visa cut off donors' payments -- under pressure, he claims, from the US government.
He is at pains to emphasise that he had nothing to hide.
"I was in Sweden for five weeks after the claims," he said. "I have offered to give evidence by video, or to British police, or to Swedish police if they come over here."