April 12, 2020, 6:00 PM CEST
By Yuliya Talmazan and Michele Neubert
LONDON — WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fathered two children while he was living in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy, their mother said Sunday as she pleaded with British authorities to release him from prison over fears for his health amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Stella Morris, who was a member of Assange’s legal team, publicly revealed that Assange was a parent for the first time in a video interview WikiLeaks released on its social media channels.
Assange, 48, is being kept in London’s Belmarsh high-security prison while he fights extradition to the U.S., where he faces 18 counts, including conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law.
He was dragged out of the embassy and arrested by British police almost exactly a year ago after his asylum was revoked.
Morris said in the video that she first met Assange in 2011 but that their relationship started four years later, when he was living in the embassy. They deliberately chose to have children to ”break down the walls around him” and “imagine a life beyond prison,” she added.
She said she was worried that Assange’s life “might be coming to an end” as he remains in confinement amid the coronavirus outbreak.