Oct 29, 2023
Finnish-Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard, on trial in Toronto for alleged serial rapes, categorically denied any sexual misconduct as he wrapped up several days of defense testimony on Friday.
The 82-year-old founder of Nygard International has pleaded not guilty to charges of sexually assaulting four women and a 16-year-old girl in Canada’s largest city between 1988 and 2005.
In court, defense attorney Brian Greenspan asked Nygard how he could firmly reject the allegations given that he could not recall dealings with any of his accusers.
“The type of allegations that were said and were described is the type of conduct that I know that I have never done, I never would do,” Nygard replied.
On the stand, he also disputed elements of the complainants’ testimonies including that he attended a Rolling Stones concert with one of them, offered an emergency birth control pill to a girl after allegedly raping her, or called another from a plane to arrange a date.
Nygard said he didn’t own a private jet in the late 1980s and said phones on commercial aircrafts “in those years, to my recollection, were almost nonexistent. In other words, you couldn’t even do that.”
He took issue also with characterizations of him as “always being with young women. Well, well, it isn’t true.”
He pointed to a one-time travel companion in the late 1980s who was six years older than him, as an example.
The prosecution has accused Nygard of having used his “power and status as a wealthy fashion designer to lure and sexually assault young women.”
Nygard is to face cross-examination next week.
He also faces sexual assault charges in Quebec and Manitoba, as well as extradition to the United States, where he has been accused of raping dozens of women and girls, racketeering and trafficking.
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