Charles Graeber hangs out with Kim Dotcom at the latter’s place in New Zealand, so you don’t have to. From Wired:
…The Dotcom Mansion is impossible to miss, mostly because of the chromed industrial-park letters spelling out dotcom mansion across the gatehouse in blue backlighting. It’s said to be the island nation’s most expensive home, located in the lush hills of the town of Coatesville. The limestone drive winds up to a $24 million suburban castle with ponds, a tennis court, several pools, a Vegas-style stairstep fountain, and a hedgerow labyrinth. The surrounding 60 acres of lawn are manicured and impossibly steep.
Until just two months ago, Kim couldn’t live in his own home, as a condition of his house arrest following a month of jail time. For three months he was confined to the guesthouse, a prison of black lacquer and black leather, black Versace tables and wall-sized LCD flatscreens. The walls are adorned with poster-sized photographs of Kim and his beautiful 24-year-old wife, Mona, but mostly just Kim: Kim in front of a helicopter, Kim on the bow of a luxury yacht, Kim reeling in a great fish or in front of a European castle holding a shotgun and a limp duck, or straddling a mountaintop, eyes pinned on the distant future. The effect is more Kim Jong-Il than Kim Dotcom. Dotcom—or the iconic character of Dotcom—is everywhere here, but most of the 53 members of the household staff that once maintained the larger estate are gone with his seized fortune.
Outside the windows there are no humans to be seen or things to do. The grounds are gray and cold, winter in the southern hemisphere. The perimeter fences warn of electrocution. Closed-circuit cameras take in every angle from stations in the trees and rooftops, sending flickering images to the panels monitored by the skeleton staff still manning the distant guardhouses. My suspicion of surveillance by the FBI or New Zealand antiterror forces—or perhaps even by the millionaire former hacker himself—prevents me from logging onto Kim’s wireless network or even making a phone call. I feel like I’ve been kidnapped and held as a “guest” by a Bond villain. A Bond villain who is asleep. In fact, Tempero tells me, the boss had just gone to bed shortly before I arrived at dawn. There’s no telling when he’ll be awake.
Kim has surrounded himself with luxury, but what he prizes above all other indulgences is pure, deep sleep. He simply doesn’t always like to get up in the morning, and he doesn’t always like going to bed at night, and—here’s the kicker—he doesn’t have to…
[continues at Wired]
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