Julian Assange's celebrity backers faced an embarrassing £240,000 financial headache last night following his last-ditch bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sex attacks.
The WikiLeaks founder walked into the Ecuadorian Embassy in London claiming political asylum and citing his human rights.
But Scotland Yard said he faced arrest for breaching his bail conditions – while a list of high-profile supporters, led by socialite Jemima Khan, risk losing tens of thousands of pounds they put up to keep him out of jail.
The desperate move by Mr Assange, 40, stunned Miss Khan, who confirmed she was one of those who put up the cash for him.
Asked on Twitter whether she was 'on the hook' for his breach of bail, she replied: 'Yes. I had expected him to face the allegations. I am as surprised as anyone by this.'
Bianca Jagger, film-makers Michael Moore and Ken Loach, and journalists John Pilger and Tariq Ali were among those who offered to support Mr Assange's bail while he fought a legal battle to avoid being sent to Sweden, where he faces accusations of raping a woman and sexually molesting and coercing another in Stockholm in 2010.
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