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82-year-old fashion designer faces six charges of sexual assault and false imprisonment in Toronto.

Peter Nygard's defense calls its first witness.

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Peter Nygard as he leaves the courthouse on October 24. In its plea, the defense informed the jury that its client will testify on the witness stand on Wednesday.

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau ( View profile)Jean -Philippe Nadeau

At the trial of Peter Nygard in Toronto, the defense called its first witness on Tuesday afternoon. He contradicted the allegations of complainant No. 3. The 82-year-old Canadian fashion designer is accused of having sexually assaulted five women, including a teenager, in his former downtown workshop, from 1986 to 2005 .

Before calling its first witness, Peter Nygard's defense presents its argument to the jury.

WARNING : This article may be offensive to some readers

From the outset, lawyer Brian Greenspan ridicules the Crown's indictment which had begun its opening arguments by suggesting that the fashion empire, money and the power of the accused made him believe that he believed he was entitled to anything.

The 3rd plaintiff in the Nygard trial says she was raped during an orgy

The Crown's theory is to make you believe that my client is a sexual predator and a megalomaniac who operated in a secret room in his workshop, he said.

Mr. Greenspan accuses prosecutors of creating innuendoes and exaggerating their descriptions to paint a terrible portrait of the #x27;accused.

The lawyer adds that the defense will have the opportunity to refute the plaintiffs' allegations and give the truth about his client's personal and professional life.

He reminds the jury that his client is not required by law to testify, but that he plans to do so on Wednesday. My client chose to abandon his privilege to remain silent, he explains.

He will tell you that the private suite in his workshop is not a secret landmark, but rather a room that reflects his Finnish origins, he continues.

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Peter Nygard, his lawyers and prosecutor Ana Serban at the lectern before Justice Goldstein of the Ontario Superior Court during the Crown's closing arguments.

In this trial, the Crown always maintained that the private suite that Peter Nygard had set up on the top floor of his studio was a bedroom hidden behind a wall with doors without handles.

Mr. Greenspan also adds that his client was also too busy with his business to remember all the interactions he had more than 20 years ago with women in the fashion world.

My client is a workaholic, so he can't remember every event in his life, he says.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hNZoeU">The defense also maintains that Peter Nygard never met four of the five complainants, contrary to what they claim.

Me Greenspan therefore attacks the testimony of the only one of them that his client knows, by calling to the stand an ex-girlfriend of the accused whose identity is protected by a publication ban.

Woman claims she may have met Peter Nygard as early as 1993, but probably in 1994 , during a business dinner in Los Angeles.

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Peter Nygard and his lead attorney, Brian Greenspan.

She adds that she then began dating Peter Nygard intimately 9 to 12 months later before eventually moving in with him.

We separated in 1997 because I wanted to focus on my career and be closer to my children, she explains.

The A woman aged around fifty admits that she nevertheless continued to live with him in California after their separation.

She admits that she also lived at Mr. Nygard's studio in Toronto when they were still together to attend fashion shows.

She more or less remembers the configuration of the suite. I don't know if you needed a code or a magnetic key to get in, she said.

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Attorney Brian Greenspan questions his first witness, an ex-girlfriend of Peter Nygard, over Zoom.

She claims she was still with Peter Nygard when she met Complainant No. 3 before seeing her again several times a year at their residence in the Bahamas thereafter.

Yes, I remember seeing her for the first time in 1995 or 1996 in an airport in Florida, then later in the Bahamas, explains the woman testifying from California.

Complainant No. 3 said last week that the woman in question was present in the room with other guests the night she said she was assaulted.

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Me Greenspan cross-examines complainant No. 5, who accuses Peter Nygard of having raped her during an orgy at the Toronto workshop in 1996 .

The defense witness nevertheless categorically denied that she ever met complainant No. 3 in a fashion show , a private party or orgy with Peter Nygard.

She adds that she never saw the accused engage in sexual relations with complainant No. 3 alone or in the presence of several guests .

The woman concludes the defense's questioning by saying that the accused's penis is of average size, thus contradicting a Previous testimony that Peter Nygard has a child's penis.

Prosecutor Neville Golwalla first told the woman that she had already witnessed several orgies at Peter Nygard's house without specifying, however, that she had participated in them.

The woman, however, does not remember noticing whether the rest of the workshop had a condom dispenser as the Crown insinuates.

She also doesn't remember how she got into the room. It's possible that the door had handles, but I don't know if it was sliding, she specifies.

She remembers well on the other hand of the glass shower in the room with a view of the city center.

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Defense attorney Brian Greenspan (bottom right) questions Complainant No. 3 on October 11, 2023.

Complainant No. 3 said she saw the woman in the shower naked with another man when Peter Nygard allegedly assaulted her on the bed .

The witness adds that Peter Nygard never drugged anyone as implied by a newspaper article published in February 2020 and of which she was aware at the time.

However, she is unable to confirm to the Crown that she was in fact unaware of what Peter Nygard was doing in her absence. I always trusted him, she says.

The reference to this article refers to a statement by Complainant No. 3 who said that she had passed out after pouring two glasses of alcohol, when she realized that people were undressing around her the night of her alleged attack.

Peter Nygard never drugged his guests and he did not take any drugs, the defense witness said.

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Peter Nygard listens to the jury selection process before the start of his trial, September 26, 2023.

The woman nevertheless admits that Peter Nygard did offer money to her relatives so that they would stop smoking.

She admits half-heartedly that she stayed at the accused's residence in California after their separation without paying rent. Peter had offered me to stay in one of the 10 suites of the residence, she confirms.

Then, Me Golwalla attacks her because she refuses to explain whether her relationship with the accused was exclusive.

We were honest with each other, but I don't know if we had a discussion about his desire to see other women, she said.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hNZoeU">I thought we were exclusive, yes, she adds after asking the Crown to ask the question differently three times.

I thought I was his girlfriend and not one of his girlfriends, she concluded.

  • Jean-Philippe Nadeau (View profile)Jean-Philippe NadeauFollow
Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116