Global fashion mogul Peter Nygard has been accused of sexually assaulting 10 unnamed women and girls, some under the age of 18 at the time of the alleged incidents, according to new federal lawsuit.
The complaint, filed last week in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, accuses the businessman of using his ties to the fashion industry to entice the young women with drugs, money and the lure of a successful modeling career.
The lawsuit also accuses Nygard of sex trafficking at Lyford Cay, a 150,000-square-foot compound he built in the 1980s in the Bahamas. The suit alleges Nygard sexually assaulted most of the women when he lured them to the Cay for “pamper parties” that were attended by prominent political figures and law enforcement.
Some of his victims were held at one of his properties where they were not allowed to leave without his permission, and were forced “through a combination of fraud, coercion, psychological force and manipulation, and physical force” to perform sex acts, the lawsuit says. They were also forced to recruit new victims, the suit says.
Nygard also kept a database of potential victims through his company’s corporate server that had information on more than 7,500 underage girls and women, the lawsuit alleges.
“We want these women to know that they are stronger, and their voice is more powerful, than the man who inflicted this horrible alleged abuse,” said a joint statement from attorneys Greg Gutzler and Lisa Haba who represent the Nygard’s accusers. “Peter Nygard’s reign of terror has come to an end and we are committed to ensuring that he is brought to justice.”
Nygard is chairman of Nygard International, a privately held company he founded in 1967, the company’s website says. “Nygard created a standard of excellence for the Canadian women’s fashion industry by having the #1 recognized label in the Canadian marketplace.”
Brands include SLIMS, Bianca Nygard and Tan Jay. The company’s headquarters is in New York.
A spokesperson for Nygard tells CNN the lawsuit was “expected,” and is meant to damage the reputation of Nygard through false statements after he filed a lawsuit against hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon.
CNN has reached out to a spokesperson for Bacon for comment.
“Since filing a rape and sex trafficking class-action lawsuit last week, initially on behalf of 10 women, against Canadian fashion mogul, Peter Nygard, we have received information from over 100 witnesses, including dozens of victims, who have come forward with additional evidence relating to alleged rape and sexual abuse,” Gutzler and Haba said in the joint statement.
Former Bahamian Prime Minister Perry Christie, Bahamian Parliament member Shane Gibson and Deputy Prime Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis were among the political figures listed in the complaint to have a close relationship with the mogul and to have allegedly accepted money from him in exchange for political favors and influence. They were not listed as defendants in the lawsuit.
CNN has reached out to Christie, Gibson and Davis for comment.
The lawsuit also alleges Nygard bribed local law enforcement, at the time, to help him conceal his sexual crimes. CNN has reached out to the Bahamian parliament for comments regarding these allegations.