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Final accuser wraps up testimony in Nygard sex assault trial

WARNING: This article contains descriptions of sexual violence

The fifth of five women who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Peter Nygaard ended her testimony in a Toronto courtroom Tuesday, which included answering questions about the onetime Canadian fashion mogul’s genitalia.

The five women were between the ages of 16 and 20 at the time of the alleged assaults, which spanned the late 1980s to 2005.

Nygaard, 82, pleaded not guilty in Ontario Superior Court to five counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement. Judge Robert Goldstein presided over the jury trial.

No further testimony is expected from the complainants.

The Crown alleges Nygaard used his power and status to lure women to his downtown Toronto office building. Once there, they would end up in her private bedroom, usually on a tour of the building, the court heard. And it was inside that suite, the Crown alleges, and each of the women testified, that Nygard assaulted and sexually assaulted them.

The fifth woman to testify spent the day being cross-examined by Nygard’s attorney, Brian Greenspan, who tried to pick apart elements of her story, raised questions about her motives and at one point accused her of lying about the size of Nygard’s penis. .

The woman told the court on Monday that she met Nygaard when she was 21 at a club event in Hull, Que., in 1989. She said they spoke briefly and she discussed her interest in fashion, noting that she made her own. fashion line.

She said they eventually met in Toronto and he brought her to his headquarters. They ended up in her private bedroom, where she claims Nygaard sexually assaulted her.

Greenspan asked the woman about a detail that was not disclosed in court during her testimony for the Crown, that she had told police that Nygard’s penis was not a normal size, but the size of a “small child’s penis.”

“I suggest to you that it is pure fantasy and a complete lie,” Greenspan said.

“That’s not true,” answered the woman. He repeated the claim during Greenspan’s follow-up questioning.

An older man with white hair, wearing a black suit and white shirt, sits cross-legged in the back of a car.
Fashion mogul Peter Nygaard, seen arriving at a Toronto courthouse on Oct. 3, is charged with five counts of sexual assault and one count of forcible confinement. (Cole Burston / The Canadian Press)

Greenspan also addressed the woman’s earlier testimony that she initially decided not to pursue charges against Nygard, in part after a conversation with her mother, when she spoke up behind someone so powerful with high-profile lawyers at her disposal.

Greenspan said the woman is now represented in the US by Gloria Allred, a high-profile attorney known for representing women in sexual assault and harassment cases. Allred helped appellant arrange her statement to the Los Angeles Police Department about Nygard’s alleged assault on her.

The woman said Allred is representing herself pro bono and that, unlike the other plaintiffs, she is not a party to the ongoing US civil suit against Nygard.

Greenspan asked if he intended to file a civil lawsuit against Nygard if he was convicted. He said it wasn’t on his mind.

Greenspan also questioned the woman about the night she met Nygard. The woman suggested that it was inappropriate that Nygaard was there with teenage supermodel Monica Schnare and that he held her hand throughout the evening.

On cross-examination, the woman admitted she did not know Schnar was engaged in contract negotiations with Nygard to be his top fashion model. He said he was also unaware that Schnarr was accompanied by an escort throughout the evening.

“You created a factual characterization of an innocent time when Mr. Nygaard was walking with Ms. Schnare, Canada’s most famous model that everyone knows she is. [a teenager] — walking through a public club, and you’ve been negative about it because you want to portray Mr. Nygaard in a negative way,” Greenspan said.

“I don’t agree because I have the right to express my opinion about how I felt when I saw him holding her hand,” she said.

“It meant nothing to me”

The woman also told the court on Monday that before she and Nygaard went to his headquarters in Toronto, they met at a nearby bar. But once there, instead of talking about the fashion industry, Nygaard was only interested in discussing her sexuality, the court heard.

Greenspan assumed the woman was flattered that Nygard, a rich and famous older man, thought she was attractive.

“I wasn’t flattered at all, it meant nothing to me,” he said.

She also testified Monday that when she entered Nygard’s private bedroom, there was no handle on the door to exit the room.

The woman did admit to Greenspan that the sink door inside the private room had a handle and that she had used the sink at some point.

The top of the glass and brick building is pictured against a cloudy sky.
The former headquarters of Peter Nygaard’s now-defunct clothing company in Toronto. All five accusers claim that Nygaard assaulted them in his private room in the building. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

“I suggest to you that that restroom not only have a door on the inside, but that the other side of that restroom has a door to the public area with a door handle as well,” Greenspan said. “Do you remember that?”

“Of course not, and I wouldn’t look for an escape route outside the toilet, sir,” the woman replied.

Greenspan asked the woman a series of specific questions. He asked if she and Nygaard had kissed before or while he was in her bedroom.

“I don’t remember any kissing,” she said.

When asked about any touching, she said the only touching was when Nygaard touched her and she was trying to push him out.

“Did you and Mr. Nygard engage in mutual oral sex?” Greenspan asked.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

She also denied that he said that if she woke up in the middle of the night and wanted sex, she should wake him up and that he would do the same.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

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