WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange secretly fathered two children with one of his lawyers while he was holed up at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and fighting extradition to the U.S., according to a report.
Stella Morris, a South African-born lawyer, began a relationship with Assange, 48, in 2015, she told The Daily Mail, which broke the story of the couple’s secret romance and birth of their two sons on Saturday. Gabriel was born in 2017, said Morris, 37. Their second child, Max, was born last year. Both births were filmed with a GoPro camera and the footage sent to Assange, the Daily Mail reported.
The couple managed to keep their relationship and the birth of the children secret from the Ecuadorian staff and diplomats who had given Assange refuge at the embassy for seven years, the newspaper
Assange, who was transferred to a high-security prison in England last year, is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges for leaking thousands of U.S. intelligence documents.
The couple, who were engaged in 2017, believe that U.S. intelligence operatives tried to steal the DNA from one of Gabriel’s diapers when they became suspicious that Assange was the father.
British rapper M.I.A. is a godmother to the children, who are both British citizens.
Assange and Morris plan to marry while he is in prison if he does not get released, she said. Morris fears Assange’s life is in danger in the prison where he is being held as the new coronavirus spreads among inmates there.
“Julian’s poor physical health puts him at serious risk, like many other vulnerable people, and I don’t believe he will survive infection with coronavirus,” she said.
Assange spent seven years in the embassy while evading extradition to the United States on charges of violating the Espionage Act by obtaining and disseminating hundreds of thousands of classified documents provided by former intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning in 2010. Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election uncovered evidence that Assange and Wikileaks had worked with Russian agents to obtain and release emails sent by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Assange has denied the cooperation.
The couple initially met in 2011 when one of Assange’s lawyers introduced him to Morris, who was born in Sweden, to help the Wikileaks founder fight sexual assault charges in the Scandanavian nation. The charges were dropped, and Assange has maintained his innocence.
A fluent Spanish speaker, Morris also helped Assange seek asylum in South America. She reportedly changed her name from Sara Gonzalez Devant to attract less attention when filing legal documents on his behalf.
“There’s nothing I regret — but I want my boys to have their father back,” Morris told the Mail.
Credit: The Daily Mail