The Private Side of Kim Dotcom

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This week's Bloomberg Businessweek profile on Kim Dotcom must have been an absolute blast to write, thanks to the outsize personality (and physical stature) of its subject. Even without an interview with Dotcom it's easy to paint an entertaining picture of the "a pear-shaped man the size of a refrigerator" who now faces 20 years in prison for a raft of copyright charges around his now-defunct file-sharing site Megaupload.

But Dotcom's outward showiness—the photos online of him cavorting with supermodels on yachts, the luxury cars with license plates reading "GUILTY, HACKER, MAFIA, and GOD," the gigantic country mansion, the email to his rural New Zealand neighbors inviting them to drop by and "don’t forget to bring the cocaine (joke)"—is only part of the story.

Businessweek's Bryan Gruley, David Fickling, and Cornelius Rahn talked to a few of Dotcom's New Zealand acquaintances, who gave an impression of Dotcom at odds with the fat goof sitting in a jacuzzi with his shirt on:

New Zealanders who’ve met Dotcom say he’s different from the character cavorting on YouTube. “He was a relatively shy sort of person,” says David Henderson, a real estate developer who lent Dotcom his apartment atop an Auckland hotel for a party to watch a holiday fireworks display last year. David Blackmore, another developer who shares Dotcom’s love of fast cars, says Dotcom invited him to lunch at the mansion and later lent him $1 million. “He said, ‘Do you want some money? I’ve got some,’ ” Blackmore recalls. He describes Dotcom as “very engaging and witty” and suggests his public image has been skewed by his looks. “He might be obese, but he’s certainly no fool.”

Read the whole Bloomberg Businessweek story here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.