Telek was born on Romulus to Tavael and Sh'raen of the House of Kiev. At a young age his father left the senate and was exiled to an alien starbase that had traffic from many different species, some of them in the Federation and others that were not. The starbase exposed him to many different people, and he made friends with kids from other races. This led to him being less xenophobic than most Romulans. The people of Starfleet left the biggest impression on him, and he decided that when he grew up he would be a Starfleet officer. His father tried to make him change his mind, but gave up after he realized how serious Telek was about it. It would be an improvement from exile.
After about ten years of living on the starbase, his father was recalled back to Romulus to end the exile. One of his allies found leverage with the new senators to convince them to let him return. After about five years back on the senate, he was asked to once again step down from his political position and giving the rank of Ambassador. His son, now old enough to make his own choices, went through with joining Starfleet. He stole his mother's shuttle to take him to Earth. Because he had chosen to go into exile with his father, Telek does not feel close to his estranged mother at all. In fact, he despises her. But the feelings aren't mutual. Sh'raen loves her son dearly, obsessively and plans to have him come back to Romulus to be with her.
Telek tends to be a little cocky, over-confident, and egotistical. However he also harbors good traits such as loyalty, perseverance, courage and dedication. Once you get to know him he isn't that bad of a guy.