October 19, 2020

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Sons sue Nygard over 'abuse'

Lawsuit alleges fashion mogul paid sex worker to rape them as teens

Two of Peter Nygard’s sons have filed a lawsuit against their father claiming the Winnipeg fashion mogul paid a sex worker to rape them when they were teenagers.

The accusations from Nygard’s children — identified only as "John Doe No. 1" and "John Doe No. 2" in court documents — come to light as their father finds himself ensnared by mounting rape allegations.

Through his lawyer, Peter Nygard has denied the accusations made by his sons. (Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images/TNS)</p>

Through his lawyer, Peter Nygard has denied the accusations made by his sons. (Mintaha Neslihan Eroglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images/TNS)

The Free Press has identified both accusers in the case but is choosing not to name them to protect their privacy.

When reached for comment, Nygard's lawyer, Jay Prober, denied the accusations.

"My client is shocked by these allegations, which he says are completely false. He categorically denies them. And you’ll note the allegations are nothing more than generalities, sadly lacking in detail, and you might ask yourself why?" Prober said.

"And the reason is because my client says it never happened. That’s why it consists of generalities and no detail. Peter Nygard also believes this is part of the continued publicity campaign against him."

When asked why two of Nygard’s children would make accusations of this nature against him, Prober said he could not comment, adding you would have to ask them.

One of the sons claims he was flown from California to Winnipeg in 2018 where Nygard "pre-planned and instructed that his long time ‘girlfriend,’ a known sex worker," would rape him. This was done to "make a man" out of him, court documents allege. He was 14 years old at the time.

But it wasn't the first time Nygard paid a sex worker to rape one of his children, according to court documents. In 2004, Nygard allegedly paid the same woman to rape a different son, then 15 years old, in the Bahamas.

Nygard, 79, has at least seven children.

"Nygard’s sons bring this case to shed the light of truth for their own justice and to help provide a voice for other innocent victims of violence and sexual abuse by their father," the lawsuit reads.

"They stand now for their own truth and justice, guided by the ethos that silence cannot be countenanced; silence is complicity; now is the time to speak — to speak the truth for all victims."

The lawsuit, which requests a jury trial, was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Sunday. The allegations have not been proven in court.

Fifty-seven women have publicly accused Nygard of raping them in a class-action lawsuit filed in U.S. court Feb. 13, 2020. The initial lawsuit is separate from the lawsuit filed by Nygard's two sons, although the same lawyers are representing the plaintiffs in both cases.

Multiple women who have accused Nygard of rape say they were minors at the time of the alleged offences, and others claim they were drugged. The accusations span at least three continents, five countries and four decades.

Initially, 10 women were signed onto the class-action lawsuit. Since then, the number of accusers has steadily increased, and the lawyers representing the plaintiffs say more than a dozen women not included in the lawsuit have stepped forward to claim Nygard raped them.

Nygard, speaking through his attorneys, has repeatedly maintained his innocence, saying he’s at the centre of an elaborate conspiracy orchestrated by people with a personal vendetta against him who are intent on destroying his business and reputation.

Prober has previously told the Free Press the allegations against his client are malicious and false, suggesting the accusers are lying for money.

On Feb. 25, Nygard’s international headquarters in New York City was raided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the New York Police Department. Soon after, it was revealed Nygard was at the centre of a probe by a joint-child exploitation task force.

ryan.thorpe@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @rk_thorpe

Ryan Thorpe

Ryan Thorpe
Reporter

Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.

   Read full biography

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