German businessman Kim Dotcom, wanted in the United States for alleged internet piracy, announced Wednesday he has ended his relationship with Kiwi girlfriend Elizabeth Donnely, 21 years younger than him.
“Elizabeth and I have ended our romance. It is unacceptable how the media/public is treating her. She’s a good person and shouldn’t be subject to shaming or abuse. I can’t accept her getting hurt and it is better for her without me,” Dotcom had tweeted.
The news comes a day after the 42-year-old software engineer declared his new romance to the daily, New Zealand Herald, saying, “I’m in love. We’re in love. This is not some fling – this is serious.”
The founder of the now-closed internet download portal Megaupload, was so taken in with Donnely, a business and law student, that he planned to divorce Mona, mother of his five children, once their official separation period of two years ended.
Mona separated from him in March 2014 after five years of marriage and amid his ongoing legal battle to avoid being extradited to the United States, following his arrest on Jan. 20, 2012 in an FBI-led international operation.
On Dec. 23, a New Zealand court greenlighted the extradition of Dotcom and his Megaupload associates to the United States, to be tried for alleged internet piracy, organized crime and money laundering, an appeal against which verdict is still pending.
U.S. authorities accuse Megaupload of making illegal profits to the tune of $175 million through internet piracy.
Estonian programmer Andrus Nomm, one of the seven members of Megaupload, is the only one to have been prosecuted so far.
He was sentenced to a little over a year in prison in the United States after he pleaded guilty to copyright infringement.