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Peter Nygard Accused of Luring and Drugging Victims for Sexual Assault

Canadian fashion executive Peter Nygard, his companies and certain employees are being sued by more than a dozen of Nygard’s alleged victims, who claim they were sexually assaulted after being lured with offers of modeling contracts and party invitations. 

Nygard, Nygard International and others are named in a suit filed Thursday in Manhattan federal court by 13 unnamed victims, who allege that Nygard relied on company employees “to groom and entice children and women.”

The suit comes less than two weeks after the businessman’s conviction on four counts of sexual assault by a jury in Toronto following a six-week trial. The 82-year-old is facing extradition to the U.S., where he’s charged with sex trafficking and racketeering.

Nygard’s recruiters were taught to tell targeted women that the executive “possessed extraordinary wealth, power, resources and influence,” the suit alleges. “This often was an offer to become a model, but was modified based on specific victims’ hopes and dreams.” 

Fashion designer Peter Nygard, founder of Nygard International, in a vehicle after leaving court in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Thursday, Sept. 28, 2023. 

Cole Burston/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Victims were ultimately “forced to have sex with Nygard” through means that included drugging drinks without the victim’s knowledge and physical force, according to the complaint.

Nygard’s employees maintained a database of “over 7,500 underage girls and woman dating back to 1987,” with photographs, ratings and other information, the complaint alleges. Cash was stored at the mogul’s properties in order to pay victims for sex, the plaintiffs allege.

The suit seeks undisclosed monetary damages for sex trafficking, assault and battery. 

Nygard founded Winnipeg-based Nygard International in 1967. At one time the biggest Canadian maker and seller of women’s clothing, it filed for bankruptcy in March 2020 after the allegations of sex trafficking emerged.

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