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Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard wants court to dismiss class action lawsuit

A Canadian fashion mogul is asking an American court to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted dozens of women.
A Canadian fashion mogul is asking an American court to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted dozens of women. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

A Canadian fashion mogul is asking a U.S. court to dismiss a class-action lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted dozens of women.

Peter Nygard’s motion, filed Wednesday in a New York court, argues it does not have jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit.

Read more: More women join lawsuit against Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard

Fifty-seven women, including 18 Canadians, have joined the lawsuit, which alleges that Nygard used violence, intimidation, bribery and company employees to lure victims and avoid accountability for decades.

Peter Nygard and Eve during 17th Annual Night of 100 Stars Gala- Arrivals at Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States.
Peter Nygard and Eve during 17th Annual Night of 100 Stars Gala- Arrivals at Beverly Hills Hotel in Beverly Hills, California, United States. (Photo by Victor Spinelli/WireImage)

The women are asking for a trial by jury and are seeking yet-to-be determined damages.

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Nygard has denied all allegations and blames a conspiracy caused by a feud with his billionaire neighbour in the Bahamas.

A growing lawsuit

Nygard stepped down as chairman of his company after the FBI and police in New York City raided his offices in February soon after the lawsuit was filed.

The original lawsuit against Nygard included allegations from 10 women accusing him of enticing them to his estate in the Bahamas. Women continued to add their names to the lawsuit.

Some of the allegations date back 40 years.

Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygård accused of raping teens
Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygård accused of raping teens

In court documents, the women share stories about being brought to Nygard’s offices and properties with promises of modelling and other career opportunities.

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Some of the women allege they were given alcohol spiked with drugs before they were sexually assaulted.

Read more: Nygard Group of Companies to restructure, seek protection amid sex crime claims, lawsuits

The lawsuit contains allegations that have not been proven in court.

Nygard was once one of the richest people in Canada. The lawsuit said Nygard has an estimated net worth of about $900 million.

He started his company in Winnipeg more than 50 years ago.

The Nygard Group of Companies offices in Winnipeg.
The Nygard Group of Companies offices in Winnipeg. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods

Nygard says Manitoba has been his primary residence since the start of 2019. He considered Nassau in the Bahamas, where he has permanent residency, his main home from 1970 until that time.

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Court documents say he is not a citizen or permanent resident in the United States and doesn’t pay taxes in New York.

Read more: More than 100 witnesses, dozens of victims come forward in Nygard class action lawsuit, lawyers say

Nygard also says that while New York City was described as the Nygard “world” or “corporate” headquarters, it was only done for promotional and marketing purposes.

The motion argues that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York does not have jurisdiction for those reasons.

The documents also say the women’s claims are not eligible for a class-action suit.

More women join lawsuit against former Winnipeg fashion mogul Peter Nygard
More women join lawsuit against former Winnipeg fashion mogul Peter Nygard