Julian Assange secretly fathered two children with his lawyer while he was holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, then he reportedly went to great lengths to keep the public from finding out.
The South African-born lawyer who worked with the WikiLeaks founder during his time in isolation in London, 37-year-old Stella Morris, has opened up about the children the two had together after falling in love. Morris told the Daily Mail that she and Assange first sparked a romance in 2015 but kept their relationship a secret for the years that followed.
Morris said that after meeting Assange in 2011 through a friend who was working as his lawyer at the time, she began to visit him more frequently. She worked on his defense for rape charges in Sweden that were later dropped, with Assange maintaining his innocence.
“At the beginning, it was a working relationship. I was in the embassy every day and Julian became a friend,” she said.
“Over the years he went from being a person I enjoyed seeing to the man I wanted to see most in the world. His public image is not what I fell in love with, it’s the real person behind it.”
The couple had a son together, Gabriel, who was born in 2017. Their second child, Max, was born this past year.
As the report noted, Morris made sure that Assange was able to watch the births, even though he was staying inside the Ecuadorian embassy as a refugee. Morris said that she used a GoPro camera to record the births of both children and then went to great measures to ensure Assange could meet his children without garnering attention, the New York Post noted. For their oldest son, she sneaked him into the embassy at just one week old by having a friend carry the baby, pretending he was her son.
Morris said she and Assange had plans to marry while he was still inside the embassy, but it has yet to happen.
Assange was arrested in London last year at the request of authorities in the United States, and he has been held in a U.K. prison awaiting extradition on charges of soliciting, receiving, and publishing classified materials, The Washington Times noted. A judge last week denied his request to postpone the extradition trial due to the coronavirus pandemic that has hit hard in the United Kingdom.
Morris has called on authorities to release Assange from custody.