A tycoon with links to Prince Andrew has been accused of raping teenagers he lured to his Bahamas mansion.
Peter Nygard, 78, allegedly told girls as young as 14 he could make them models before raping them and forcing them into performing ‘deviant acts’.
Andrew visited Nygard at his lavish estate in 2000, after the Canadian fashion designer had agreed out-of-court settlements with three employees who accused him of sexual harassment.
The prince and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson stayed at Nygard Cay, near Nassau, with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.
The new case threatens further embarrassment for Andrew, who stepped back from public life last year following a backlash over his relationship with paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein.
Prince Andrew visited tycoon Peter Nygard (pictured together) at his lavish estate in the Bahamas in 2000
The prince and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson stayed at Nygard Cay, near Nassau, with daughters Beatrice and Eugenie (pictured with Nygard)
According to a 99-page lawsuit filed against him in New York, Nygard used his ten-bedroom mansion to host ‘pamper parties’ for teenage girls recruited at shopping malls and fashion events.
He and his employees told the girls they could be fashion models, but then plied them with wine and drugs before Nygard allegedly raped them.
Three alleged victims were 14-year-old virgins and said they felt scared and humiliated by the attacks, which left one needing medical treatment.
The case has been brought on behalf of ten women who allege they were raped by Nygard.
Eight were teenage girls and two were adult employees on the Nassau estate.
Lawyers said Nygard, who is worth an estimated £690million, ran a ‘decades-long sex trafficking scheme’ that destroyed innocent lives.
They said he used his company’s private jet, dubbed ‘N-Force’, to take his victims with him on visits to London, Germany, Italy and China, and treated them as his ‘personal servants’.
Lawyers said Nygard, who is worth an estimated £690million, ran a ‘decades-long sex trafficking scheme’ that destroyed innocent lives. Pictured: His lavish Nygard Cay estate
Two yachts were allegedy used to transport drugs and liquor for the parties and Nygard was said to keep a database of 7,500 potential victims.
The case has parallels with some of the accusations against Epstein, who used his private jet, known as the Lolita Express, to traffic young women and girls.
One Epstein victim, Virginia Roberts, claims she was trafficked to London and forced to have sex with Prince Andrew when she when she was 17.
Andrew has repeatedly denied her account and he is not involved in the Nygard lawsuit.
A spokesman for Nygard said the allegations were ‘completely false, without foundation and are vigorously denied’.
After fashion exec Peter Nygard was accused of raping 10 young women at a mansion Prince Andrew once visited, GUY ADAMS asks what the Duke finds so attractive about foreign billionaires who own luxury Caribbean properties?
What does Prince Andrew find so attractive about foreign billionaires who own Caribbean mansions?
With the Jeffrey Epstein scandal still casting its ugly shadow, the Queen’s second son may now face the fallout from a second deeply unedifying legal case involving one of his wealthy acquaintances.
His name is Peter Nygard. He is a leathery 78-year-old Canadian fashion tycoon, famed for his ultra-flamboyant dress sense and the hedonistic lifestyle he has for years pursued at a ‘private luxury resort’ he owns in the Bahamas.
Called Nygard Cay, it is built on a 4.5-acre patch of the island of New Providence which he bought in 1987 and spent a decade turning into what he later described as a ‘dream home’, with 150,000 sq ft of Mayan-themed buildings, stretching over a dozen ‘cabana-style’ residences designed for holding lavish parties.
Peter Nygard is a 78-year-old Canadian fashion tycoon, famed for his ultra-flamboyant dress sense and the hedonistic lifestyle he has for years pursued at a ‘private luxury resort’ he owns in the Bahamas. Pictured: Actress Suelyn Medeiros and Peter Nygard arrive at a fashion event
The buildings include a casino, a disco hut (with cameras beneath the dance floor, reportedly to shoot images of revellers from below), a glass ceiling weighing 45 tons and the world’s largest sauna, a 6,000 sq ft A-frame lodge made from 2ft-thick Canadian pine logs.
In the grounds there is a helipad, fake volcanoes that belch dry ice, a flock of peacocks, stone cobras which hiss steam at sunset, 60ft towers festooned with hundreds of flaming torches (lit nightly by staff), and giant statues of nude women, purportedly modelled on the owner’s former girlfriends.
Andrew visited in early 2000, around the time of his 40th birthday.
By then he had been divorced for four years and, with his Royal Navy career drawing to a close, was in the first throes of a midlife crisis that would also see him pursue an ill-fated friendship with Epstein, whose own private Caribbean island — subsequently dubbed ‘paedo island’ after disturbing revelations about the financier — he had visited the summer before.
Like Epstein, Nygard moved in colourful circles. The father of at least seven children by four women, he was at the time dating former Playboy model Anna Nicole Smith, and had for years entertained famous chums at Nygard Cay.
His personal website boasts that guests ranged from pop royalty (Michael Jackson, Lenny Kravitz) to Hollywood A-listers (Robert DeNiro, Sylvester Stallone, Jessica Alba, Zoe Saldana, Sean Connery) to the former U.S. President George H. W. Bush and several members of the Kennedy clan.
None of these high-profile chums, many of whom are pictured on Nygard’s website, seemed unduly bothered that their host had in recent years settled widely reported sexual harassment cases against three women who worked for his clothing company.
Andrew, who visited with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and their two daughters, was also untroubled by that pressing fact.
The 99-page document says the well-connected tycoon (pictured) used his wealth and status to systematically ‘groom and entice underage girls’ into a globetrotting harem
Nygard founded clothing producer Nygard International and is known as an eccentric playboy
The visit to Nygard’s home did not, of course, feature in the Court Circular. Instead, details were disclosed by the billionaire in an interview with Canada’s National Post newspaper shortly afterwards, when he waxed lyrical about how excited it had made his elderly mother, who was also in residence there.
‘Last week was a big week for her,’ he said. ‘On Monday, George Bush came over to my house, and then on Thursday, Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew came over.’ In fact, Nygard recorded Andrew’s visit for posterity.
A photograph shows them wandering together on the sand, with the Prince wearing boat shoes and matching blue shorts and shirt.
Other royal guests of Nygard over the years have included Crown Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece and Princess Michael of Kent, while he has also pursued a doubtless lucrative business relationship with Cherie Blair.
All of which provides an intriguing, not to mention potentially explosive, backdrop to a truly extraordinary legal action that was launched in New York this week.
On Thursday, lawyers acting for ten unidentified women filed a class-action lawsuit claiming that Nygard’s Bahamian mansion, where so many celebrities and a handful of royals partook of his hospitality, was a den of iniquity where countless underage girls were routinely abused.
With the Jeffrey Epstein scandal still casting its ugly shadow, the Queen’s second son (pictured alongside ex-wife Sarah Ferguson) may now face the fallout from a second deeply unedifying legal case involving one of his wealthy acquaintances
The 99-page document says the well-connected tycoon used his wealth and status to systematically ‘groom and entice underage girls’ into a globetrotting harem, where they would be paid cash and promised ‘lucrative modelling opportunities’, after which he would ‘assault, rape and sodomise them’.
The allegations are all vigorously denied by Nygard, whose spokesman derided them yesterday as ‘completely false’ and ‘without foundation’, saying the tycoon ‘looks forward to fully exposing this scam and once and for all clearing his name’.
But for their part, Nygard’s accusers, who are demanding a jury trial on multiple abuse and sex-trafficking charges, insist he would instruct employees to ‘procure’ young girls, largely from poor neighbourhoods of New Providence, to attend events at the mansion.
He would then, the accusers say, take them to what he called ‘pamper parties’, where they were ‘plied with drugs and alcohol’, then violently assaulted. Other alleged abuse occurred on yachts and at properties in Nygard’s portfolio of luxury residences, which stretches to Florida, California and New York.
In one of the cases, Nygard is accused of showing a 14-year-old girl vile ‘pornography’ before raping her, ‘causing extraordinary pain and trauma’. She claims to have been paid cash from Nygard’s company funds in return.
Another accuser says she was 15 when Nygard invited her to a bedroom in his Bahamian mansion during a ‘pamper party’, ostensibly to smoke marijuana. She claims he ‘asked her…’ to perform a depraved sex act. When she refused, she says he ‘attempted to sodomise’ her and ‘then raped her vaginally’.
Several others allege they were drugged by Nygard before being raped and assaulted.
One 14-year-old local claims he gave her three pills before raping her when she was unconscious. The next day he allegedly paid her $5,000.
The mansion includes an area on stilts that leads out over the sea. It is allegedly the scene of where Nygard plied teenage girls with drink and drunks before raping them
Another, who was 17, says Nygard made a drink that made her feel ‘nauseated and very sleepy’. She says she recalls Nygard ‘asking to urinate in her mouth’ but has no memory of what happened next.
The lawsuit claims that when she woke up ‘there was blood in the back of her underwear… Nygard gave her $550 in U.S. currency and sent her away’.
It should be stressed that lawyers and a spokesman for Nygard have described each and every charge in the lawsuit as false.
His lawyer, Jay Prober, told newspapers in Canada, where he currently resides, that the claims are ‘vigorously denied’.
Neither have any of the complainants, who are now aged between 18 and 36, implicated any celebrity friends who visited Nygard’s Bahamian home in the alleged abuse.
I can reveal, however, that this isn’t the only lawsuit Prince Andrew’s billionaire acquaintance faces. Last month, lawyers acting for two more women filed separate lawsuits against him at the Superior Court of California, in Los Angeles.
One, Maridel Carbuccia, claims in a 32-page document that she was repeatedly abused, sexually harassed, groped and on one occasion drugged and sexually assaulted during almost three years in his employment. This lawsuit claims that Carbuccia, who was married with a young son, moved to Los Angeles in late 2015 after landing a job helping to run a medical cannabis farm that Nygard was setting up on a 50,000 sq ft site in the hills above Malibu.
Trouble began shortly afterwards, it claims, when the billionaire ‘unexpectedly grabbed her buttocks’, leaving her ‘shocked and upset’. Then, in April 2016, she says he turned up to a one-on-one meeting at the Los Angeles mansion ‘completely naked’ and again propositioned her.
The Mayan-style property boasts 12 cabanas, an aquarium, helipad and casino
Nygard has lived on the islands since 1987, and owns a Mayan-themed mansion compound
Later that day, the lawsuit further alleges, he ‘gave a drink which she consumed’, only to rapidly begin to pass out. As she was losing consciousness, she claims, her employer ‘led her to his bedroom’. The next day ‘when she awoke, she saw her own blood on her skin and clothes and it was apparent that while she was unconscious, Nygard had sexually assaulted her’.
At one point, the lawsuit alleges, Nygard decided that her professional duties should also include acting as his ‘house manager’. This role, she claims, included inviting large numbers of women, including prostitutes, to attend ‘pamper parties’ where he would ‘get a good look at them and select those whom he would pay for sex’.
Carbuccia eventually left his employment in August 2018. She is now suing for damages on nine separate grounds, including battery, sexual battery, breach of contract, fraud and unpaid wages, and has demanded a jury trial.
Her attorney is Gloria Allred, a famed Hollywood lawyer whose recent work has included representing victims of Jeffrey Epstein.
Nygard has yet to submit a formal response. His attorney did not respond to requests to comment on this particular case.
The second woman, known only as ‘Jane Doe’, is a resident of Houston in Texas. In nine-page complaint, she has alleged that Nygard ‘repeatedly had sexual intercourse with her at his home’ in Los Angeles in October 2012, when he was 71 and she was ‘a minor under 18 years old’ (California’s age of consent).
‘Nygard was fully aware of [her] age, yet repeatedly had sexual intercourse with her at his home. Nygard did not allow [her] to leave his residence without his permission,’ the document claims.
The lawsuit further alleges that, in the ensuing weeks, Nygard trafficked her to China and New York on his private jet. ‘While in New York, Nygard invited [her] to a “club” without informing her of the full nature of the club. Nygard took [her] to a “swingers club” and instructed her to have sex with an individual so Nygard could trade and have sex with the individual’s partner,’ it claims.
He then supposedly took her to Fort Lauderdale in Florida ‘and continued to have sex with [her] while she was a minor’.
‘Jane Doe’ is suing for damages on nine counts, including battery, sexual battery, assault, false imprisonment, harassment, and intentional infliction of emotional distress. Her lawyers are also demanding a jury trial.
Again, Nygard has yet to submit a formal response and, like any defendant in a case that has yet to be tested in court, should be considered innocent until proven otherwise.
The businessman, who grew up in relative poverty, certainly has a compelling rags-to-riches story. His empire controls several of Canada’s most successful womenswear brands and he travels in a private jet that has ‘Peter Nygard N-Force’ painted on the outside and reportedly features a stripper’s pole inside.
However, claims of impropriety (always vehemently denied and never proven) have frequently interrupted his trajectory.
In 1980, he was charged with raping an 18-year-old girl, only for charges to be dropped after she suddenly decided not to testify. He later alleged that the police had shown ‘poor judgment’ in investigating the case.
In the 1990s, three separate women who worked in his office filed sexual harassment complaints with the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, which he settled. One, a 27-year-old travel co-ordinator, claimed she ‘repeatedly brushed off Mr Nygard’s touches and sexual advances’ in the workplace.
Another, a 39-year-old communications manager, said that, when called into Nygard’s office, she would ‘find him in a state of undress (pants open, no shirt) or with his hands down the front of his pants, fondling himself’.
She also claimed he once added ‘naked swimming’ to the agenda of a business meeting and that, in the Bahamas, ‘frequently was grabbing himself (wearing a very small bathing suit)’.
At the time, Mr Nygard’s lawyer claimed the women filed complaints in order to get better severance payments from the firm, saying it settled to avoid litigation costs.
He also faced a sexual harassment suit in 1996 from a Los Angeles employee who claimed that, against her wishes, ‘she spent the night in Peter Nygard’s bed and engaged in sexual intercourse with him’. She later rejected his advances, she claims, and was eventually fired.
This case was later dismissed. Again, it is worth noting that none of the above incidents appear to have prevented Prince Andrew bringing his two daughters and ex-wife on that 2000 visit to Nygard Cay.
In 2008, another woman — a former girlfriend — filed a lawsuit against Nygard in Los Angeles Superior Court, alleging that he had slammed a bedroom door shut on her hand. Again, the case was settled and Nygard denies any wrongdoing.
Then, in 2010, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation put out a Panorama-style documentary about Nygard, focusing on alleged sex abuse and harassment of former employees.
It quoted a former stewardess on his private plane who alleged that on one journey — during which Nygard was accompanied by a troupe of topless women — he lost his temper with staff, shouting: ‘You are nothing! You are garbage! I am God!’
The programme also alleged that Nygard had engaged in ‘inappropriate sexual contact’ with a young woman who had been brought to his home in 2003 from the Dominican Republic.
Nygard vehemently denied that either incident had happened, and sued to stop the documentary being broadcast. When that failed, he filed a criminal complaint against the journalists who made it before suing CBC for defamation. Eight years later, that case is still wending its way through the Canadian court system.
But perhaps the most high-profile, and certainly the most bizarre legal tussle to involve Nygard, is a dispute with his next-door neighbour in the Bahamas, a New York hedge fund boss called Louis Bacon.
This started in the mid-Noughties as a somewhat petty dispute over car parking on an access road to their properties, along with noise from Nygard’s late- night parties, but has snowballed into an avalanche of litigation which has seen at least 18 lawsuits filed in the U.S., Canada and the Caribbean.
In 2016, Cherie Blair — who rarely seems to meet a foreign billionaire she won’t take paid work from — played a curious cameo in their battle. The Wall Street Journal revealed that her law firm, Omnia, had been hired to try to dig up dirt on Bacon.
She proceeded to contact a British former employee of Bacon’s hedge fund called Julian Rifat, who had been jailed for insider dealing, with a view to persuading him to tell the U.S. authorities about alleged wrongdoing at Bacon’s firm. After several meetings, the plan seems to have been abandoned.
Hostilities between Nygard and Bacon reached a peak, of sorts, last January when a court in the Bahamas issued a warrant for Nygard’s arrest on contempt of court charges related to a case involving claims that Nygard illegally dredged sand from the sea floor to enlarge the size of his private beach.
He has been unable to visit the Bahamas since, and in November was sentenced to jail time in absentia. A spokesman branded that decision ‘unfair, unreasonable and unnecessary’ and vowed to appeal.
In New York, meanwhile, lawyers for Nygard recently filed a lawsuit claiming Bacon was attempting to ‘bring down’ their client by persuading various women to provide the New York Times with ‘false information’ regarding his conduct towards them. This is the only Nygard lawsuit against Bacon that has not been struck out or withdrawn.
Yesterday, Nygard’s attorneys were once more blaming Bacon for their woes, claiming that the latest ugly lawsuit stemmed from their seemingly endless battle and is ‘just the latest in a ten-plus-year string of attempts to try to destroy the reputation of a man through false statements’.
Doubtless the American courts will eventually decide whether that claim holds merit. In the meantime, Prince Andrew, Cherie Blair and every celebrity who partied at the billionaire’s lavish mansion will surely be watching with bated breath.