Disgraced Canadian mogul Peter Nygard has been arrested for the alleged sexual assault and unlawful confinement of a 20-year-old aspiring model at the headquarters of his fashion empire in Winnipeg in 1993.
The 81-year-old, who was already facing sexual assault charges in the US, Quebec and Toronto, is accused of raping the woman after inviting her to the Nygard Corporate offices to audition for a modeling job, the CBC reported.
Former Miss Canada April Telek, one of 80 women who signed on to a class-action lawsuit in New York alleging they had been sexually assaulted by Nygard, identified herself as the alleged survivor in an interview with the CBC on Tuesday.
Ms Telek said the arrest was an immense relief.
“This feels like such a huge victory for me after such a long battle trying to get my truth told and heard and believed,” the 48-year-old actress and model told the Canadian public broadcaster.
“But for me today, I want to really, truly embrace this as a win and the justice system works.”
Police in Winnipeg, Manitoba, said in a statement they had began an investigation in June 2020 after receiving a complaint of a sexual assault at the headquarters of the Canadian clothing brand on or about 19 November 1993.
Officers from Winnipeg Police Service’s Sex Crimes Unit arrested Nygard on Tuesday (11 July) at the Toronto South Detention Centre.
The founder of women’s clothing company Nygard International has been in custody since 2020 on a US arrest warrant.
In a nine-count federal indictment filed in December 2020, US prosecutors accused Nygard and others of using his company “ force, fraud, and coercion” to recruit dozens of victims — including minors — in Canada, the United States and the Bahamas for his sexual gratification.
Nygard allegedly targeted women from disadvantaged backgrounds and controlled them through “threats, false promises of modeling opportunities”, the Department of Justice said.
In 2021, Nygard agreed to be committed for extradition to the US to stand trial in New York.
The Finnish-Candian national was initially taken into custody in Winnipeg before being transferred to Toronto after facing further sexual assault charges there.
Nygard is facing one count each of sexual assault and forced confinement in Quebec over an alleged attack that took place between November 1997 and November 1998, according to the CBC.
He is expected to stand trial for the alleged Canadian offences before being extradited to the US.
In May, Nygard was ordered to pay $203m in damages to his Bahamas neighbour Louis Bacon over making wild allegations against the billionaire as part of a decade-long feud over a shared driveway.
A New York judge ruled Nygard had spread “malicious falsehoods” about Mr Bacon through TV and radio ads and on doctored videos.