Behind the scenes

Inside Julian Assange and Stella Moris’s Belmarsh wedding

Supporters celebrated with ‘champagne and canapes’ but the bride was left ‘fighting back tears’

Julian Assange and his partner Stella Moris have tied the knot in a ceremony at Belmarsh prison, where the Wikileaks founder has been held since 2019. The couple were given permission to marry last year, and announced their engagement in November. 

Four guests were in attendance at the ceremony, which took place during visiting hours yesterday afternoon, the BBC reported. The couple’s two young children and Assange’s father and brother made up the small party, alongside “two official witnesses and two guards”. One of the prison officers “acted as official photographer”, said the Daily Mail.

“Passing motorists beeped their horns and supporters cheered” as Moris, 38, arrived outside the high security prison in southeast London, The Independent reported. Leaving the jail after the ceremony, Moris was met by a crowd of well-wishers who threw confetti and shouted “Free Julian Assange”. 

“Assange’s supporters were determined to make the day memorable for the newlyweds” and “a gazebo was set up outside” the prison, with a “three-tier wedding cake adorned with edible rose petals and bride and groom figures”, said the Mail. “Champagne and canapés were served” accompanied by “musical entertainment”. 

Moris could be seen “fighting back tears” as she made “an emotional speech” to the crowd outside the prison, said The Independent.

“I am very happy and very sad. I love Julian with all my heart, and I wish he were here,” she said. Moris described her husband as “the most amazing person”, adding “our love will carry us through”. 

US authorities are seeking to extradite Assange, 50, so he can face an 18-count indictment on American soil. He is accused of “conspiring to hack military databases to acquire sensitive information” relating to the US military’s involvement in the Afghanistan and Iraq conflicts, said the BBC. He denies any wrongdoing. Wikileaks published hundreds of thousands of such documents on its website in 2010.

The couple met in 2011 after Assange had been arrested in London over allegations by two Swedish women of rape and molestation, which he denies. Moris (who was known as Sara Gonzalez Devant before she began working with Assange) was a lawyer with expertise in international law, and “was hired as part of Assange’s legal team” to fight his initial case against extradition to Sweden, said The Guardian

They fell in love in 2014, she told the newspaper, while Assange was living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Moris had their two sons, Max, now two, and Gabriel, four, during Assange’s seven-year residency in the embassy, before he was imprisoned in Belmarsh. 

For yesterday’s wedding, Moris wore a “floor-length corseted lilac” wedding dress designed by Dame Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler, and “an elaborate veil embroidered with messages from friends”, said The Guardian.

“Assange, whose parents are of Scottish heritage, reportedly donned a kilt – also designed by Westwood,” said the Daily Mail. The designer has campaigned for Assange’s release for a number of years.

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