Klein addresses appearance in Nygard doc
Stresses business relationship
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 04/02/2021 (851 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A city councillor who appeared in a recent documentary playing poker with Peter Nygard and a group of women says he was never part of the personal life of the disgraced fashion mogul who faces sex charges.
“I think people are smart enough to know that I’m true to my word on this. I worked for him for a very short time. I’m not a part of his life. I left his employ and that was the end of it for me. I’ve seen the allegations. This is something that shocks me,” said Coun. Kevin Klein.
“I did nothing wrong. My conscience is 100 per cent clear,” Klein added.
Nygard, 79, is in custody in Headingley jail, awaiting a judge’s decision on his bail application. He is facing extradition to the U.S., where he is accused of racketeering and sex trafficking dozens of women and underage females for decades. Nygard denies the allegations. A decision on his bail application is expected Friday.
A documentary by CBC’s The Fifth Estate, which aired last week, includes one image of Klein sitting at a poker table with Nygard and others. There are two images of the councillor outdoors with palm trees in the background. In one of them, he is with Nygard as he meets with politicians in the Bahamas at his sprawling seaside estate known as Nygard Caye.
On Wednesday, Klein said he understands voters might have questions about his involvement with his former employer. The Charleswood-Tuxedo-Westwood councillor stressed he had only a business relationship with the Winnipeg clothing maker.
“People can certainly ask me anything they want on that. They have a right to ask me,” said Klein. “I took this job. I put my name on a ballot.”
Klein stressed he’s one of thousands of past Nygard employees. He said he was shocked to learn about the serious allegations against Nygard after working for him during a four-month period in 2012 and two weeks in 2014.
The councillor said the poker game didn’t take place at a large party, noting poker tables were present at many of Nygard’s buildings.
“Poker games (are) something very common in Nygard’s world. He used to do them every night, even if we were… with prospective business people,” said Klein.
The councillor previously told the Free Press he went to the Bahamas twice during his employment with the company. He said he was accompanied by his wife both times and never stayed on Nygard’s estate, which has been linked to the alleged crimes.
“I think I’ve been very open about the fact that I worked for Nygard as an executive and, at times, was with him at certain meetings, but nothing more than that,” said Klein.
The councillor noted he has addressed questions about his former employment in the past. In March, Mayor Brian Bowman told media he’d asked Klein if his past job as vice-president of Nygard Biotech could distract the councillor from serving in his then-role as chairman of the Winnipeg Police Board.
Klein, who has not ruled out running for mayor, said he doesn’t expect to face political fallout simply because he worked for someone who is charged with serious sexual offences.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Joyanne loves to tell the stories of this city, especially when politics is involved. Joyanne became the city hall reporter for the Winnipeg Free Press in early 2020.
Updated on Thursday, February 4, 2021 7:34 AM CST: Adds councillor's full name
Updated on Thursday, February 4, 2021 8:35 AM CST: Adds image