Peter Nygard, one of Canada’s largest fashion moguls, has been accused of raping and sexually assaulting 10 women on his Bahamas island estate, in the United States and “around the world.”
A civil class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. court Thursday alleges Peter Nygard used his international connections and “recruited, lured and enticed young, impressionable and often impoverished children and women, with cash payments and false promises of lucrative modelling opportunities to assault, rape and sodomize them.”
The lawsuit names Nygard himself, who is the founder and chair of Nygard International Partnership and Nygard Holding Ltd. All three are named in the lawsuit as defendants, with the suit stating his companies were knowing participants in Nygard’s “decades-long sex trafficking scheme.”
“At the heart of this action is Nygard’s use of the Nygard Companies to facilitate and enable the rape and sexual assault of underaged girls and women in the United States, the Bahamas, and elsewhere around the world.”
None of the women accusing Nygard has been named in the nearly 100-page suit. None of the allegations against Nygard have been proven in court.
Nygard’s lawyer Jay Prober told 680 CJOB Friday that the lawsuit was expected but said the viciousness of it was stunning.
“[The allegations] are completely false. I’ve seen a lot of false allegations … but I’ve never seen such false allegations that are so nasty,” he said.
“We will be defending that class action vigorously … and I expect it to be dismissed.”
Prober said the complaints are all fabrications “which are paid for. They’re bought fabrications, by people involved in a criminal conspiracy against Nygard.”
Prober named hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon as being behind the conspiracy and said the pair have been feuding for a decade both in the Bahamas and in New York City.
“Anybody. Anybody can make false allegations and they can be as specific as all get out. That doesn’t mean they’re accurate or true, not at all.”
Nygard has yet to be served the civil suit, said Prober, adding “we can’t sit by idly and not point out that it is false.”
Read the full complaint:
Bacon and Nygard are neighbours in Lyford Cay, Bahamas, and have been in a long-standing dispute over each other’s activities on their properties for years. One of the complaints involves Nygard’s efforts to dredge the seafloor around his estate.
An arrest warrant was issued for Nygard in January of last year when he did not show up for a mandated court appearance on Jan. 28, 2019.
The Supreme Court of the Bahamas seized the estate in October 2018.
One of the women in the suit states she was 14 when she passed by one of Nygard’s stores in the Bahamas. She alleges a woman working there handed her a pair of pants and asked her to try them on in a public change room that lacked doors or a privacy curtain.
The workers then allegedly took pictures of the teen, and then Nygard walked in, the suit claims. He asked the girl if he could take her measurements, and then rubbed her inner thighs and buttocks while he did, according to the complaint.
Another complaint involves a then 14-year-old teen who claims she was raped twice by Nygard, paid by him to be a model and recruit others. Nygard “would instruct her to offer young girls drugs,” the lawsuit alleges.
“The victims that Nygard found most attractive and sexually desirable were forced through a combination of fraud, coercion, psychological force and manipulation, and physical force, or knowing that the victim had not attained the age of 18 years, to become full-time sex workers, which he referred to as his ‘girlfriends.’”
“They were forced to meet his every demand including, without limitation, “recruiting” new victims to attend his “pamper parties” so that Nygard could continue his pattern and practice of forcing children and women into commercial sex acts.”
Nygard has been accused of sexually inappropriate behaviour before.
CBC TV’s The Fifth Estate published a documentary alleging inappropriate behaviour in 2010. In a rare private prosecution, Nygard sued for defamatory libel, and that case is still before the courts. Details about the alleged behaviour are now the subject of a publication ban, which came into effect in 2019.
Nygard denies the allegations in the CBC documentary.
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