More than 100 people, including dozens of victims, have come forward with information since a class action suit alleging rape, sexual assault and human trafficking against Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard was filed last week according to lawyers representing alleged victims.
“Since filing a rape and sex trafficking class action lawsuit last week … 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,” said lawyers Greg Gutzler and Lisa Haba Tuesday, who are representing the alleged victims in the suit.
On Thursday, Gutzler and Haba’s firms filed a civil class action lawsuit in a New York court alleging Nygard used his international connections and “recruited, lured and enticed young, impressionable and often impoverished children and women, with cash payments and false promises of lucrative modelling opportunities to assault, rape and sodomize them.”
The lawsuit named Nygard himself, who is the founder and chair of Nygard International Partnership and Nygard Holding Ltd. All three are named in the lawsuit as defendants, with the suit stating his companies were knowing participants in Nygard’s “decades-long sex trafficking scheme.”
None of the 10 women accusing Nygard in the filing have been named in the nearly 100-page suit. None of the allegations against Nygard have been proven in court.
Nygard’s Winnipeg lawyer Jay Prober called the statement released by the alleged victims’ lawyers Tuesday “highly unusual” and accused them of trying to solicit business for their class action lawsuit.
“Before they quote the malicious and false allegations … they tell you to contact the website or call a phone number,” he said Tuesday.
“They’re advertising for people to come forward, so a lot of people in that kind of situation see dollar signs and they’re right away jumping on the bandwagon.
“My firm view is that they’re doing it because it’s part of a well-orchestrated media campaign by those involved in a conspiracy to bring Nygard down.”
Haba and Gutzler stood by the accusations.
“The allegations in the Complaint are accurate, verified and corroborated, following years of independent investigation,” they said Tuesday.
Most of the victims in the lawsuit were from the Bahamas, but women and minors from Canada and the US were also lured to the island, said Haba.
“You come down to Nygard Cay, you have a fun time, I’ll fly you there on a private jet, and our complaint lays out the allegations that these ladies were lured there with promises of a modeling career, the promises of money being given to them, the promises of having a great time.”
Instead, sometimes passports would be confiscated, and the price of leaving was sex with Nygard, Haba alleged.
Now that the lawsuit has been filed, Haba said the two law firms are focusing on gathering witness testimony and more victims may be added to the suit.
“Sadly, we understand from our exhaustive investigation that there may be hundreds of additional Nygard victims yet to come forward,” said the joint statement.
The law firms have set up a website for those who wish to contact them.
Read the statement from the Plaintiffs’ lawyers: