What is Peter Nygård's net worth? Fashion mogul arrested and charged with racketeering and sex trafficking
Acting U.S. attorney Audrey Strauss said Nygård had since 1995 used his influence and businesses to 'recruit and maintain' victims in the US, Canada and the Bahamas to sexually gratify himself and his associates
On Monday, December 14, fashion mogul Peter Nygård was arrested in Canada after U.S. authorities charged him with racketeering and sex trafficking, alleging decades of crimes that left dozens of victims in the United States, the Bahamas, and Canada. The 79-year-old was arrested in Winnipeg under the extradition act, and reportedly made an initial appearance in court on Tuesday. He has denied wrongdoing.
Acting U.S. attorney Audrey Strauss in Manhattan said Nygård had since 1995 used his influence and businesses to “recruit and maintain” victims in the United States, Canada, and the Bahamas to sexually gratify himself and his associates. Nygård, as per the authorities, often targeted victims who came from disadvantaged backgrounds or had suffered abuse.
As per the indictment, Nygård took some victims, who he allegedly called “girlfriends”, to swingers clubs where they would be intimidated into having sex with other men, “to facilitate Nygård having sex with other women and for his own sexual gratification”. Nygård also allegedly used threats of arrest, reputational harm, and lawsuits to silence potential accusers.
Nygård’s victims would have their passports taken from them when they were flown into the Bahamas, the lawsuit alleges, adding the designer “expected a sex act before he was willing to consider releasing any person” from his estate.
Who is Peter Nygård? And how much is he worth?
Nygård was born in Helsinki, Finland, on July 24, 1941. His parents Eeli and Hikka were bakers who immigrated to Canada in 1952. They eventually settled in Winnipeg. Nygård attended the University of North Dakota where he graduated in 1964 with a business degree.
While he started out as a sales manager for a new line of women's denim for a company called Jacobs Fashions, in 1967, he founded his own apparel manufacturing business called "Nygard". In its early days, they made sportswear. On February 25, 2020, Nygard stepped down as chairman of Nygård International, after their headquarters were raided in connection to sex trafficking claims. The raid came less than two weeks after ten women reportedly filed a civil lawsuit accusing Nygård of enticing young and impoverished women to his estate in the Bahamas with cash and promises of modeling opportunities.
With one of the company’s biggest clients, Dillard’s department stores, refusing to carry its clothing anymore, a spokesman for Nygård told The New York Times that he would be stepping down and divesting ownership of Nygard International in recognition of “the priority of the welfare of the thousands of Nygard employees, retail partners, loyal customers, vendors, suppliers, and business partners.” The company filed for Chapter 15 Bankruptcy in New York on March 18, 2020.
As per Forbes, Nygård’s net worth in 2009 was $817 million. According to Canadian Business, the longest-publishing business magazine based in Toronto, Ontario, he was ranked the 80th richest Canadian at the time. CelebrityNetWorth pegs his net worth at $900 million at present.
In August, another lawsuit claimed that Nygård hired his girlfriend, a “known sex worker,” to rape two of his teen sons because he wanted the woman to “make a man” out of them. “Hopefully my experience will help other people be able to speak the truth about what’s happened to them,” the older of the two sons said in an interview with CBC News.
The two sons were allegedly raped by the same woman 14 years apart. Both the incidents took place at their father’s properties. The older of the sons stated in the lawsuit that he was sexually abused when he was 15 years old in 2004 at Nygård’s Bahamas residence. The younger brother claimed that his father “lured, enticed, and transported” him from California to the family’s residence in Winnipeg, Canada, where he was raped in 2018. He was 14 at the time.