Stella Moris, the once-secret paramour of Julian Assange, describes a bizarre world of international intrigue and personal paranoia in a new interview.
“I couldn’t explain the situation to friends because my circumstances had become quite unrelatable,” the South African native told the Guardian.
“I was in an embassy where the authorities were hostile to Julian and threatening to throw him out; where there was a security company secretly working for the CIA; where I was told not to bring my baby in because it wasn’t safe; where my mom was followed. How do you sit down and have a martini and discuss this with your best friends?”
Moris has two children with Assange. Gabriel, 4, and Max, 2, were born in secrecy as the family lived under the protection of the Ecuador Embassy in London. Their covert relationship was made public last year. They revealed details of their lives in a video posted on Assange’s YouTube channel.
She is speaking out now as Assange faces potential extradition to the United States. The Royal Courts of Justice will soon hear an appeal from US authorities after a judge in the UK denied sending him to face espionage charges in America earlier this year.
“The future of living in a free and open society is at stake,” Moris said.
She met Assange in 2011, when she was a 28-year-old attorney working on one of his international defense cases. She fears for Assange’s safety today as he languishes in prison awaiting his fate.
“He’s very unwell. He’s struggling a lot,” both mentally and physically, she told the outlet. “In his wing, one of his closer friends killed himself, then someone else slit his throat.
“I called in my family to help out. It would have been impossible otherwise. It is exhausting. And it is incredibly stressful. When somebody you love is being hurt, it hurts you, too.”
Moris says her love for Assange has not wavered. She wore a necklace with three hearts to the interview.
“They are for the three men in my life,” she said. “Julian and the two boys.”
The boys remind her of their father, she said: “They are stubborn. Strong-willed. But I guess that probably applies to me as well. I see a lot of him in them.”
She added: “I’m happy with the decisions I’ve taken. They haven’t been the easiest decisions. I’m happy that Julian and I started a family and that we have each other.”