Peter Nygard accused of rape, trafficking teens in class action lawsuit
WINNIPEG -- WARNING: This story contains graphic details that may be disturbing to some readers.
Fashion mogul Peter Nygard is accused of rape, sexual assault, and sexual trafficking in a class action lawsuit filed Thursday in New York.
Nygard’s lawyer said the allegations are completely false, and has vigorously denied the claims.
The lawsuit alleges Nygard lured young, impressionable women and teens, with promises of cash and modelling opportunities. Ten women have come forward with allegations. Their identities are not being revealed in the lawsuit due to the nature of the allegations.
The lawsuit said the victims were primarily teenagers at the time of the alleged assaults, many of whom were virgins, and Bahamian citizens. One woman is a U.S. citizen. The lawsuit alleges Nygard plied the women and girls with drugs and alcohol, before raping, sodomizing, or sexually assaulting them, often at “pamper parties” at his mansion in the Bahamas. It also alleges Nygard asked many of them to defecate on him in return for money, though the women and girls refused.
The lawsuit said after the alleged assaults, Nygard would offer the women and girls U.S. money, sometimes upwards of $5,000.
The lawsuit describes the alleged “pamper parties” as events held to both promote the Nygard Companies’ brand and facilitate sex acts, held in the Bahamas and California. It said women and girls were lured to his Nygard Cay property for these events under the false pretense of modelling opportunities. The lawsuit alleges corporate funds were used to pay for drugs, alcohol, entertainment, and food for the parties, and also provided the cash Nygard allegedly gave to the women and girls.
The parties were allegedly staffed by Nygard Company employees.
One woman involved in the lawsuit worked for Nygard in a key role, and was allegedly raped in 2014. The lawsuit said she continued to work there afterwards out of financial necessity, but tried to avoid any contact with Nygard. She alleges he demanded she begin to have sex with him regularly, and when she refused, she was fired.
The woman claims in April 2017 she was kidnapped for four days by employees of Nygard.
Another woman said she worked for Nygard, and alleged she was sexually assaulted by him on numerous occasions.
The lawsuit also alleges some women and girls were forced to “recruit” others to come to the “pamper parties.”
The alleged sexual assaults detailed in the lawsuit happened between 2003 and 2015. It also said several were coerced into labour trafficking, and were forced to work exceptionally long hours with little sleep for no additional money.
The lawsuit claims Nygard was allegedly able to engage in sex trafficking, in part, due to Bahamian culture, political corruption, and his power in the Bahamas.
Nygard has a net worth of approximately $900 million through various business entities he owns in the fashion industry. Nygard International is a Canadian corporation, with administrative offices in Winnipeg. Its global headquarters are stationed in New York City.
The lawsuit is demanding a jury trial be held.
Nygard’s lawyer Jay Prober told CTV News the allegations are false, and said they stem from a land dispute, in which another man paid women to fabricate false sexual stories against Nygard. Prober said this is a “vicious and malicious conspiracy” against Nygard, and said he will be vindicated, exonerated, and will clear his name.
Ken Frydman, a spokesperson for Nygard, echoed similar sentiments, and told CTV News in a statement, Nygard predicted something like this would happen after he filed a RICO lawsuit in New York last year.
“This is just the latest in a 10+ year string of attempts to try to destroy the reputation of a man through false statements. It is no different than the conspiracy exposed in 2010 through various legal actions filed by Peter Nygard, where it was shown that women were bought off to make such false claims,” said Frydman.
“The allegations are completely false, without foundation and are vigorously denied. Peter Nygard looks forward to fully exposing this scam and, once and for all, clearing his name,” he said.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.