Convicted U.S. intelligence leaker Chelsea Manning said she is “struggling to adjust to life” after spending seven years in federal prison.
Ms. Manning, a transgender former Army intelligence analyst who was convicted in 2013 for leaking classified information while deployed in Iraq, said she’s having trouble adjusting to civilian life since she was released from prison last year.
“I’m dealing with a lot of loneliness and struggling to adjust to life,” she said in a discussion Tuesday with Vogue’s creative digital director, Sally Singer, at the South by Southwest film festival in Austin, Deadline reported.
“I couldn’t get an apartment,” Ms. Manning said. “For a while I crashed in lower Manhattan. I couldn’t move anywhere. I didn’t have a photo ID. I didn’t have access to my bank account. I had to wait for my lawyers to give me an allowance from my own bank accounts.”
Ms. Manning has since returned to her native Maryland, where she has declared her candidacy for the U.S. Senate, but said she is still struggling to adjust to life outside Fort Leavenworth in Kansas.
“I’m not used to it,” she said. “I get lonely, especially at night. Some of the darkest and loneliest moments that I’ve had are at 1 o’clock in the morning. I’m in this big apartment and I’m all by myself.”
Ms. Manning said she’s also found America to be a “darker and scarier” place since President Trump was elected.
“This has been decades in the making and it’s not an aberration,” she said. “The political rhetoric and style of governance we’ve been seeing is not an aberration. It’s the conclusion of systems that we’ve built.”
Ms. Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, was released from prison in May after former U.S. President Barack Obama commuted her 35-year sentence.
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