Kim Dotcom, founder of defunct file-sharing site Megaupload, is one of the most wanted cyber-fugitives in the world, but that isn’t keeping him from throwing a good party.
This past weekend, Dotcom hosted a pool party and picnic for members of the Internet Party, a political group he founded in the hopes of providing a challenge in New Zealand’s September parliamentary elections. Among the Internet Party’s main concerns are Internet freedom, social inequality, and tech job creation in New Zealand.
This weekend’s picnic was open to Internet Party members only, who gathered at Dotcom’s enormous estate in Coatesville, New Zealand.
Dotcom sent out an invite via Twitter, saying that more than 1,000 people had registered for tickets.
This isn’t the first time Dotcom has opened his mansion to the masses. In 2012,he invited some Twitter followersover for a swim, and later that year hethrew a huge press eventto launch Megaupload’s replacement, Mega.
His home has also been the site of more controversial activity. In 2012, New Zealand police raided the mansion after U.S. authorities accused Dotcom of media piracy and racketeering. They found a huge amount of loot, including a Rolls-Royce Phantom with the licence plate “God,” among other luxury cars and gadgets.
At Sunday’s event, he signed autographs and talked policy with hundreds of supporters.
Dotcom’s criminal charges and extravagant lifestyle have made him a controversial public figure, but he does have a strong fanbase.
“He’s quite a good influence on the public, and I don’t understand why he’s been treated the way he has been,” attendee Erin Pupulu said to the New Zealand Herald.
Fans and supporters camped out all over the lawn while he walked around with his wife Mona and son Kimmo.
There was even a setup where guests could take official photos with Dotcom and leave a personal message.
Dotcom took to the stage to talk about his plans for the political party, thoughthe Heraldsaid his talk had more to do with encouraging people to get involved than with concrete policy measures.
He also took the opportunity to pose in front of letters bearing the name of the company he founded while on bail, which wasrecently valued at $US179 million.