FILE - In this March 2, 2014, file photo, Peter Nygard attends the 24th Night of 100 Stars Oscars Viewing Gala at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Nygard faces criminal charges in New York after his Canadian arrest on charges alleging that he dangled opportunities in fashion and modeling to lure dozens of women and girls to have sex with himself and others. The 79-year-old Nygard awaited an appearance in a Winnipeg courtroom after his Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 arrest in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States. (Annie I. Bang /Invision/AP, File)

FILE - In this March 2, 2014, file photo, Peter Nygard attends the 24th Night of 100 Stars Oscars Viewing Gala at The Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Nygard faces criminal charges in New York after his Canadian arrest on charges alleging that he dangled opportunities in fashion and modeling to lure dozens of women and girls to have sex with himself and others. The 79-year-old Nygard awaited an appearance in a Winnipeg courtroom after his Monday, Dec. 14, 2020 arrest in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States. (Annie I. Bang /Invision/AP, File)

Fashion mogul Peter Nygard arrested in Canada on sex charges

Peter Nygard has denied all allegations and blames a conspiracy

Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard was arrested on charges alleging he sexually abused women and girls after luring them into his orbit with opportunities in fashion and modeling over the last 25 years.

The 79-year-old Nygard awaited an appearance in a Winnipeg courtroom after his Monday arrest by Canadian authorities at the request of the United States. His lawyer, Elkan Abramowitz, declined comment.

His arrest on sex trafficking charges came after U.S. federal authorities raided Nygard’s Manhattan offices earlier this year.

The FBI raid came soon after 10 women sued Nygard, saying he enticed young and impoverished women to his Bahamas estate with cash and promises of modeling and fashion opportunities. Several plaintiffs in the suit, filed in New York City, said they were 14 or 15 years old when Nygard gave them alcohol or drugs and then raped them.

Nygard has denied all allegations and blames a conspiracy caused by a feud with his billionaire neighbour in the Bahamas.

In announcing criminal charges, authorities said Nygard used the prestige of an international clothing design, manufacturing, and supply business he founded and headquartered in Winnipeg, Canada, to persuade victims to submit to his demands.

According to an indictment, he capitalized on the Nygard Group’s influence, using its employees, funds, and resources to recruit women and girls under the age of 18. The indictment alleged that Nygard and his co-conspirators, including Nygard Group employees, used force, fraud, and coercion to enlist the women and girls, who were sexually abused and assaulted by Nygard and others.

Fifty-seven women, including 18 Canadians, have joined the lawsuit, which alleges that Nygard used violence, intimidation, bribery and company employees to lure victims and avoid accountability for decades.

The allegations in the criminal case mirror claims in a class-action lawsuit that Nygard used his company, bribery of Bahamian officials and “considerable influence in the fashion industry” to recruit victims in the Bahamas, United States and Canada.

It alleges he plied the young women with drugs and alcohol during “pamper parties” and kept a database on a corporate server containing the names of thousands of potential victims.

Nygard’s accusers had their passports taken from them when they were flown into the Bahamas, the lawsuit alleges, adding the designer “expected a sex act before he was willing to consider releasing any person” from his estate.

A spokesman for Nygard said earlier this year he was stepping down as chairman of Nygard companies and would divest his ownership interest.

Nygard International began in Winnipeg as a sportswear manufacturer. Its website says its retail division has more than 170 stores in North America.

Rob Gillies And Larry Neumeister, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Crime

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Harrison resident John Williams shares his story of life as a correctional officer in his new book, Life on the Inside, published in November 2020. (John Williams/Contributed)
‘We all have a bad side in us’: Harrison man publishes first book on life as a corrections officer

John Williams’ new autobiography shares his history with local jails and their inmates

A door is boarded up following a fire at Pho Xuan restaurant on Yale Road on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
UPDATE: Early morning fire at vacant Chilliwack restaurant was deliberately set

Fire erupted north of the Yale Road overpass at Pho Xuan, which was permanently closed

The Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve’s network of trails is popular with outdoor enthusiasts. (chilliwackblueheron.com photo)
Provincial funding goes to Chilliwack’s Great Blue Heron Reserve for trail upgrades

The popular destination saw even more traffic in 2020 as people headed outdoors during the pandemic

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission schools

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways

The 4th Annual Fraser Valley Marches for Women March is virtual this year, and this file shot depicts speeches from the first march from Jan. 20, 2018. (Jennifer Feinberg/Chilliwack Progress file)
Video on women’s march emphasizes that violence against women increasing

Key messages from Chilliwack women leaders as the FV Marches for Women March goes virtual

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

The Vancouver-based SAR team successfully rescued two lost snowshoers off of the west side of Tim Jones Peak in the early morning of Monday, Jan. 19. (North Shore Rescue photo)
B.C.’s busiest SAR team raises alarm after 2021 begins with fatality, multiple rescues

‘People beyond ski resort areas of Seymour, Grouse, and Cypress go without cell reception,’ SAR warns

Post-COVID-19 recovery clinic in Surrey, at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre. (Photo: Fraser Health)
Surrey to host 1 of 3 post-COVID recovery clinics in Lower Mainland

The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre is located at 9750 140th Street

Competitors make their way through the course at the 2019 Canadian Cross Country Championships, which was hosted by Abbotsford in 2019. (File photo)
Abbotsford to host 2023 Canadian Cross Country Championships

Clearbrook Park last hosted the event in 2019, Ottawa hosting 2021 and 2022 races

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Officers investigate the scene after a pedestrian was struck and killed on Friday morning. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Male pedestrian, 37, killed in Abbotsford after being struck by vehicle

Collision took place in 31800 block of South Fraser Way on Friday morning

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

Most Read