'Rape is not trivial,' King tells WikiLeaks founder

Only days after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange walked out of a CNN interview because of questions about his personal life, he was back on the network -- and the questions continued.

In a Friday interview, Assange warned CNN's Atika Shubert that he would terminate the interview if she continued to ask questions about his alleged sexual improprieties.

"This interview is about something else," he said. "I will have to walk if you are... If you are going to contaminate this extremely serious interview with questions about my personal life."

The reporter persisted, so Assange calmly got up, removed his mic, apologized and left.

Assange returned Monday to do a live interview with Larry King.

"Julian, shortly before the massive release of the Iraqi war documents, you walked out of an interview by CNN's Atika Shubert," King said. "She asked you about any turmoil within WikiLeaks and about accusations of rape and molestation by two Swedish women."

King became confused as CNN played tape of the walk off and he thought that Assange had terminated the current interview.

"He's walking off again, apparently. Why will you not respond to that question?" asked King.

"I haven't walked off," answered Assange.

"Well, I didn't walk off, Larry, just then. But perhaps, I should. We released 400,000 classified documents, the most extraordinary history of a war to have ever been released in our civilization. Those documents cover 109,000 deaths. That's a serious matter and it's extraordinarily disrespectful to those people to start inflating the first revelation of that material with any sort of tabloid journalism. And CNN should know better, and I believe does knows better than to do that," he said.

"We're asking the question just about you to further confirm your reliability. What was wrong with that?" King pressed.

"Well, I mean, it should be obvious that these things are not in balance and they are not proportionate. It is not right to bring in sensational and, in fact, false claims, a relatively trivial matter compared to the deaths of 109,000 people. And it is -- I mean, CNN should be ashamed of doing that. And you, Larry, you actually should be ashamed, as well," Assange shot back.

"All you had to do was to say they were false. When you say they were trivial, rape is not trivial. To say they were false, that's your answer. They're false. That's fine. That's all we wanted to hear," King concluded.

This video is from CNN's Larry King Live, broadcast Oct. 25, 2010.

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