Wikileaks founder Julian Assange fathered two children with a lawyer who was helping him fight extradition to the U.S. while he was holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, according to The Daily Mail.
The lawyer, Stella Morris, told the Mail that she had decided to come forward about the relationship now because she fears for his life as long as he is in the high-security Belmarsh prison. Assange has been at the prison in London since last spring, when he was sentenced to 50 weeks. The Mail also cited court records regarding the United States' attempted extradition of Assange that mentioned the two young children.
Assange reportedly began a relationship with Morris in 2015, and the couple has been engaged since 2017. Their first child, Gabriel, was born in 2017, and their second, Max, was born in February 2019, his birth filmed with a GoPro and the footage sent to Assange, according to the Mail. Both sons have reportedly visited him in prison.
“I have lived quietly and privately, raising Gabriel and Max on my own and longing for the day we could be together as a family,” she told the Mail.
Morris believes intelligence officers and embassy security plotted to steal the babies' DNA via their discarded diapers in early 2018. She took care never to arrive together with her sons at the embassy when visiting Assange, the Mail reported.
The actor Tracy Ward and the rapper M.I.A. are the children's godmothers, according to the Mail.
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.