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Julian Assange Fast Facts

CNN Editorial Research

Here’s a look at the life of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.


Birth date: July 3, 1971

Birth place: Townsville, Queensland, Australia

Father: John Shipton

Mother: Christine (Hawkins) Assange

Marriage: Stella Moris (March 2022-present)

Children: with Stella Moris: Max and Gabriel

Other Facts

When he was a year old, his mother married Brett Assange, who adopted him.

Guest-starred as himself on the 500th episode of “The Simpsons” in 2012. He recorded his lines over the phone from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he was granted asylum for nearly seven years.


2006 WikiLeaks is founded by Assange.

2007 WikiLeaks posts the procedures manual for Camp Delta, the US detention center in Guantánamo Bay.

April 5, 2010 WikiLeaks posts a video showing a US military helicopter firing on and killing two journalists and several Iraqi civilians in 2007. The military claims that the helicopter crew believed the targets were armed insurgents, not civilians.

July 25, 2010 WikiLeaks posts more than 90,000 classified documents related to the Afghanistan war.

August 20, 2010 – Swedish prosecutors issue an arrest warrant for Assange based on allegations of sexual assault. The arrest warrant is rescinded the next day.

August 31, 2010 Assange is questioned by Stockholm police and told of the charges against him.

October 22, 2010 WikiLeaks publishes classified military documents related to the Iraq war.

November 20, 2010 The Stockholm Criminal Court issues an international arrest warrant for Assange.

November 28, 2010 WikiLeaks begins publishing diplomatic cables from US embassies.

December 7, 2010 Assange turns himself in to London authorities. He is remanded in custody. On December 16, he is released on bail and put on house arrest.

February 24, 2011 A judge rules in support of Assange’s extradition to Sweden.

April 24, 2011 – WikiLeaks begins releasing classified military documents providing details on the behavior and treatment of detainees being held at the US Navy’s detention facility at Guantánamo Bay.

September 2, 2011 WikiLeaks releases its archive of more than a quarter million US diplomatic cables.

November 15, 2011 The UK Judicial Office announces Assange has applied to take his appeal against extradition to Sweden to the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom. On May 30, 2012, the British Supreme Court denies his appeal, but grants him two weeks to file another appeal. This is unusual because rulings are supposed to be final.

June 19, 2012 – Assange enters the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, requesting political asylum. On August 16, Ecuador announces it has granted his asylum.

August 19, 2012 – Assange addresses the public from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, demanding that the United States drop its “witch-hunt” against WikiLeaks.

September 26, 2012 Delivers a speech via satellite to a full conference room at the United Nations, asking the US government to end its actions against him and his website. The event is held by the Mission of Ecuador on UN grounds but is not officially sponsored by the world body.

November 2012 Assange’s book, “Cypherpunks: Freedom and the Future of the Internet,” is published.

February 10, 2015 – Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe tells LBC Radio the operation guarding Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London is “sucking our resources in” as costs spiral to more than 10 million pounds ($15.3 million).

May 11, 2015 – The Swedish Supreme Court denies Assange’s appeal to dismiss an arrest warrant for allegations of sexual assault.

July 3, 2015 – France rejects Assange’s request for “protection” after he publishes an open letter in national newspaper Le Monde.

August 13, 2015 Swedish prosecutors announce they are dropping allegations involving sexual molestation and coercion as statutes of limitations in the investigation run out this month. However, the allegation of suspicion of rape still stands, and he may be investigated until 2020, Swedish prosecutors have said.

February 5, 2016 – A UN rights working group says its investigation found that Assange is being arbitrarily detained by the governments of Sweden and the United Kingdom.

May 25, 2016 – A Swedish court upholds the arrest warrant for Assange, with a Swedish prosecutor saying there’s still probable cause to prosecute him on a rape allegation and that “the risk of him evading justice is still large.”

July 22, 2016 – WikiLeaks publishes nearly 20,000 emails from Democratic National Committee staffers. The hacked emails appear to show the committee favoring presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders during the US presidential primary. On July 29, Assange tells CNN’s Anderson Cooper that the email release was timed to coincide with the start of the Democratic National Convention.

September 15, 2016 – WikiLeaks tweets that Assange agrees to serve prison time in the United States in exchange for President Barack Obama granting clemency to imprisoned former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning. In 2013, Manning was convicted of stealing and disseminating 750,000 pages of documents and videos to WikiLeaks

September 16, 2016 – A Swedish appeals court states again that the arrest warrant for Assange on allegations of rape still stands. This is the eighth time the European arrest warrant has been tested in a Swedish court. All eight judgments have gone against Assange.

October 7, 2016 – WikiLeaks begins publishing hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.

November 14, 2016 – WikiLeaks tweets that Assange is giving a statement in the presence of a Swedish prosecutor regarding allegations he sexually assaulted two women in the country six years ago.

January 3, 2017 – During an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Assange says that the Russian government was not the source of the hacked DNC emails. He also denies talking to Russian President Vladimir Putin and says he did not have contact with the campaign for US President-elect Donald Trump.

April 20, 2017 – US Attorney General Jeff Sessions announces that the Department of Justice is preparing charges for Assange, and that his arrest is a “priority.”

May 19, 2017 – Swedish prosecutors drop their investigation of rape allegations against Assange, ending a nearly seven-year legal impasse.

December 12, 2017 – Becomes a naturalized citizen of Ecuador.

March 27, 2018 – Assange’s internet communications outside of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London are suspended for at least the second time since October 2016. The government accuses him of failing to commit to an agreement not to release messages interfering with other nations’ affairs.

October 19, 2018 – Assange directs his legal team to launch proceedings against the government of Ecuador for “violating his fundamental rights.” On October 29, the lawsuit is rejected by an Ecuadorean court. During a video-linked hearing, Judge Karla Martinez alerts Assange he will have to abide by the new rules imposed by Ecuador’s embassy in London.

November 2018 – A court filing in a case unrelated to Assange mistakenly reveals that the WikiLeaks founder has been charged under seal in a US federal court.

April 11, 2019 – Assange is arrested by the Metropolitan Police in London on an extradition warrant from the US Justice Department. He is charged with conspiracy to attempt to hack a computer in connection with the 2010 release of classified military information obtained via Manning. On May 23, it is announced that Assange has been charged with 17 additional counts under the Espionage Act.

May 1, 2019 – Is sentenced to 50 weeks in a UK prison after he is found guilty of violating his bail conditions when he entered Ecuador’s London embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden in 2012.

July 15, 2019 – CNN reports on newly obtained documents that describe how Assange transformed the Ecuadorian embassy into a command center and orchestrated a series of damaging disclosures that rocked the 2016 presidential campaign in the United States. A day later, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa says his country was aware that Assange was interfering in the 2016 US presidential election while staying at the embassy.

November 19, 2019 – Sweden’s deputy chief prosecutor announces that authorities are ending their investigation into an allegation of rape against Assange. The investigation into Assange was reopened in May following his removal from Ecuador’s embassy in central London the previous month.

April 11, 2020 – In a video posted online and shared by Wikileaks, Stella Moris reveals that she and Assange had two sons while he was living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Moris is part of the international legal team working for Assange, but she is not involved in the current extradition case.

June 24, 2020 – The US Justice Department announces a second superseding indictment against Assange. The Justice Department alleges Assange recruited hackers to obtain information for WikiLeaks, but does not add any new charges.

January 4, 2021 – A British judge rejects a US request to extradite Assange to America, ruling that such a move would be “oppressive” by reason of his mental health.

January 6, 2021 – A British judge denies bail for Assange, ruling that “there are substantial grounds for believing that if Mr. Assange is released today he would fail to surrender to court and face the appeal proceedings.”

July 26, 2021 – The Judicial Branch of Ecuador rules in favor of revoking the citizenship of Assange. The court’s decision nullifies Assange’s status as a naturalized citizen of Ecuador.

December 10, 2021 – US authorities win their bid to overturn a British judge’s ruling that Assange should not be extradited to face charges in the United States, on the basis of assurances given about his treatment there.

January 24, 2022 – Wins permission to try and appeal the decision that allows him to be extradited to the United States. Lord Chief Justice Burnett and Lord Justice Holroyde denied Assange permission to directly appeal December’s ruling, but leave it to the UK’s Supreme Court to decide whether or not to take up the appeal. On March 14, the Supreme Court refuses Assange’s permission to appeal.

March 23, 2022 – Marries his fiancée and mother of his two children inside Belmarsh prison in London.

April 20, 2022 – A London court issues a formal order for Assange to be extradited to the United States. The court sends the order to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval. On June 17, Patel signs off on the order.

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