Julian Assange doesn’t exactly have a reputation as a great houseguest. Before Ecuador kicked him out of its embassy in London and British authorities promptly arrested him Thursday, he had spent nearly seven years holed up inside — not always to the delight of his hosts.
Ecuador’s growing frustrations with his lengthy stay were made more obvious late last year, when officials released a new series of guidelines for Assange, saying he needed to take better care of his cat and hygiene, as well as pay for his own medical appointments. In fact, his behavior inside the embassy may have been part of what pushed Ecuador to rescind his asylum.
Ecuador President Lenín Moreno has called Assange a “spoiled brat.” Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo said Assange went so far as to smear feces on the embassy’s walls. And Foreign Minister José Valencia said Ecuador had “put up with his rudeness” for long enough.
Now that his long stay at the embassy as a somewhat unwelcome guest is over, The Washington Post looks back at anecdotes from his stay — in the form of a parodic Airbnb-style review.
Julian Assange, April 2019
Only planned to stay a few days but wow, the hosts were welcoming so I just kept extending my reservation. Would highly recommend to anyone seeking to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning about alleged sexual assault. And when that inquiry is dropped, it’s helpful to stay on anyway in case you run an organization that leaks classified U.S. documents too. Outdoor space on the balcony was great for the occasional news conference.
Love that they allowed pets but not sure they would do it again for the next guest. Only complaints are that the rules changed the longer I stayed and the WiFi didn’t always work — you guys should check on that before anyone else checks in.
Oh, and checkout felt a bit rushed.
Embassy of Ecuador, April 2019
Other hosts, beware! Julian is rude, rude, rude, and overstayed his welcome — by about seven years!! Having initially booked for a short stay, he just kept extending his reservation without much consultation with the hosts. Our embassy is spacious and we would have had less of a problem with his presence if his behavior had not gotten worse and worse as time went on. The news conferences from our little decorative balcony were one thing, but when he adopted the cat and then failed to clean its litter box, we were dismayed. And things only got worse from there. He never seemed to leave the building. And he took over the women’s bathroom, brought guests in whenever he pleased, and on top of all that, even spread feces on the walls.
Then there was the skateboard. He rode it around the building with no regard for the fact that he was a guest.
And don’t get us started on his politics. We don’t have any problem with guests whose political opinions differ from our own, but when a foreign guest comes to stay in the embassy for seven years we expect at the very least that they not spark controversy at every turn. We feel us shutting off the Internet from time to time was justified. And it’s not like we love kicking a guest out (and into the arms of the waiting police) when a reservation goes wrong. But honestly, we had put up with the uninvited guest for long enough.
Our president put it best when he called Julian’s presence in our embassy equivalent to a “stone in the shoe."
The whole experience was so traumatic we plan to take our listing down. New guests won’t be staying in the Ecuadoran Embassy in Knightsbridge anytime soon. At least not until we get the place properly cleaned up.
Correction: This post has been updated to reflect that Assange was not charged in Sweden with sexual assault.