A former friend and employee of Kim Dotcom spoke exclusively to The Diary from Los Angeles yesterday about the internet tycoon as he launched his foray into New Zealand politics.
Alex Mardikian played fixer for Dotcom, bringing people together and making things happen. He was a close friend and trusted adviser, living in the Coatesville mansion and watching Dotcom first-hand. He says he was paid a monthly retainer, but left in 2012.
Mardikian insists he is speaking out now to inform Kiwis about the man behind what he claims is a carefully crafted image.
Mardikian says he introduced Dotcom to the likes of Hollywood producer Rob Schroeder, Grammy producer Printz Board and hip hop recording artist Swizz Beatz, husband of Alicia Keys. "I used all my sources and contacts for him. All his wishes were fulfilled," he said.
But it was a movie inspired by Dotcom's lifestyle filmed in Europe in the summer of 2011 where things turned surreal.
"Kim wanted to do a Catch Me If You Can-type movie. Like the one with Leonardo DiCaprio. Kim wanted to say ... that he lives a glamorous lifestyle floating on superyachts, racing cars."
Part of the film shot on a beach at a nature reserve off the coast of Italy was the final straw, says Mardikian.
He made allegations about the way Dotcom behaved towards a park ranger who said the shoot should not be there because it was protected land.
Dotcom did not return repeated requests for comment.
Producer Georg Kallert from Lodger Films, who was behind the film, did not deny the allegations when The Diary located him in Los Angeles yesterday. He did not want to comment further.
Jessie Bushyhead, an editor on the film, said he had seen the footage and believed Dotcom would not want it to be made public.
Yesterday, Dotcom launched the Internet Party, the day after admitting he owned a rare signed copy of Adolf Hitler's book Mein Kampf. He says the revelations are a smear campaign by detractors.
A photograph of Dotcom wearing a Nazi SS helmet circulated on the internet yesterday and appears on a website for the Gumball3000 rally, which Dotcom twice took part in.
Mardikian says, in his opinion, Dotcom wants the world to think he is a mastermind, but he is just out for himself. "Don't be fooled, New Zealand. He won't better your country. It's just about what he can gain for himself."
Top 5 conscious couplings
1. She has stolen the heart of New Zealand's most eligible bachelor, now Black Sticks hockey rep Gemma Flynn has stolen his backpack, apparently. Richie's girl tweeted a pic (far right, top) of a healthy lunch and a monogrammed adidas sports bag evidently belonging to McCaw. Must be love.
2. Shane Jones, whose partner Dot Pumipi has a short-term contract in events at SkyCity, rebuffed rumours this week he has been living at the casino hotel with her. "Now and again when I have business in Auckland I stay at SkyCity, but I can assure you my wealth does not extend to having an apartment there. I have a house in Kerikeri - with a mortgage on it," he told The Diary.
3. Dan Carter represented the All Blacks at the Laureus Awards in Kuala Lumpur this week when they were nominated in the Team of the Year category, but were pipped by football giants Bayern Munich. He attended with wife Honor, a former national hockey player and New Zealand's most famous WAG. Alas, evidently not famous enough for Getty Images, who labelled poor Hons "a guest" in a pic from the red carpet.
4. The bromance between Barack Obama and John Key continued at the Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague this week. Barack still laughed at JK's jokes. But then the PM went on a bike date with Dutch councillor Peter Smit. His DPS agent and press sec pedalled behind. John Key wore SNEANS! (Sneakers and jeans for the less sartorially proficient.)
5. OK, this is more a conscious uncoupling in the vein of Chris and Gwyn. Dotcom and Hone broke up too. Well, for now. It was effectively a lovers' tiff, dissolving what would have been the oddest political marriage of convenience. Hone's Mana Party wanted Dotcom to agree to vote to get rid of National if they get MPs in Parliament, but it wasn't clear if the internet millionaire would comply. Suddenly there were three people in the relationship. Team Hone, led by staunch Sue Bradford, threatened to walk out and said he must choose. They read Hone the riot act. Yesterday, Dotcom said he had no love for the Nats. Can he entice lover Hone back to the party bed?
Mallard at playschool
This week's pic of the week goes to former school teacher and friend of Lycra Trevor Mallard, who was put through "a ruck and a facial" by the kids at Paparakau-Tuarua Kohanga Reo in Naenae, where Labour was pushing their Best Start package. Mallard getting clucky, eh?