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

Subm
Mission art gallery re-opens after 10 months

‘People are in need of some visual things just to take them away’

Ottawa serial killer Camille Joseph Cleroux died of natural causes at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution on Sunday.
Serial killer housed at Abbotsford’s Pacific Institution dies of natural causes

Camille Joseph Cleroux announced dead on Sunday, known as notorious Ottawa serial killer

A peregrine falcon nest sits atop the walls of a quarry where the owner wants to restart operations. The province has now given permission for the nest to be removed. (Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News)
Company gets OK to remove rare peregrine falcon nest from Abbotsford quarry

Province says it is satisfied with falcon population estimates and mitigation plans

Garry Blanchard of Hope won $77,000 correctly guessing the outcomes of all 13 games of NFL week 17. (Photo/BCLC)
Hope resident rakes in $77,000 in NFL Week 17 bet

Garry Blanchard won the record-breaking prize correctly guessing every outcome that week

This urn was found Jan. 4 at a Yale Road bus stop and has now been returned to its owner. (RCMP photo)
RCMP find custodian of urn that was left at Chilliwack bus stop

Police say the urn contained the remains of a family’s cat

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

(Black Press Media files)
Woman steals bottles of wine after brandishing stun baton in New Westminster

Police say the female suspect was wearing a beige trench coat with fur lining

Stand up paddleboarder Christie Jamieson is humbled to her knees as a pod of transient orcas put on a dramatic show on Jan. 19 in the Ucluelet Harbour. (Nora O’Malley photo)
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: Vancouver Island paddle boarder surrounded by pod of orcas

“My whole body is still shaking. I don’t even know what to do with this energy.”

Toronto’s Mass Vaccination Clinic is shown on Sunday January 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Canadian malls, conference centres, hotels offer up space for COVID vaccination centres

Commercial real estate association REALPAC said that a similar initiative was seeing success in the U.K.

Kamala Harris and Joe Biden are sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. (Saul Loeb/Pool Photo via AP)
Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

About 25,000 National Guard members have been dispatched to Washington

A memorial for the fatal bus crash involving the Humboldt Broncos hockey team at the intersection of Highways 35 and 335 near Tisdale, Tuesday, October 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Liam Richards
‘End of the road:’ Truck driver in Humboldt Broncos crash awaits deportation decision

Sidhu was sentenced almost two years ago to eight years after pleading guilty to dangerous driving

Cumberland photographer Sara Kemper recently took the top spot in a Canadian Geographic photography contest. Photo by Sara Kemper
B.C. photographer takes top Canadian Geographic photo prize

Sara Kemper shows what home means to her in Comox Valley photo

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

Most Read