Canadian fashion mogul Peter Nygard (pictured), 79, was arrested on charges alleging he sexually abused women and girls
A fashiontycoon who met Prince Andrew has been arrested on suspicion of raping, drugging and sex-trafficking teenagers.
Peter Nygard, 79, allegedly told girls as young as 14 he could make them models before forcing them into ‘deviant acts’.
The Duke of York visited the Canadian mogul at his private Bahamas resort in 2000, not long after Nygard had agreed out-of-court settlements with three employees who accused him of sexual harassment.
Andrew, who was around 40 at the time and had been divorced for four years, is not accused of anything in connection with the Nygard case. But it potentially threatens further embarrassment for the prince, already under mounting pressure over his friendship with paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.
Billionaire Nygard was last night in custody in Winnipeg, Canada, facing extradition to New York following an FBI probe.
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Prince Andrew with Peter Nygard on Nygard’s Caribbean island. The photograph was thought to have been taken in 2000
The Duke of York visited the Canadian mogul at his private Bahamas resort (pictured) in 2000, not long after Nygard had agreed out-of-court settlements with three employees who accused him of sexual harassment
The indictment says Nygard capitalized on the Nygard Group’s influence, using its employees, funds, and resources to recruit women and girls under the age of 18. Nygard is pictured with young women in 2007, but it’s unclear if they are involved in the legal proceedings
His arrest comes months after US federal authorities raided his Manhattan offices (pictured) earlier this year
He allegedly used his wealth to ‘groom and entice underage girls’ into a globetrotting harem.
They would be paid cash and promised lucrative modelling gigs before being raped, according to the claims.
The ageing tycoon is said to have lured them to ‘pamper parties’, where they were plied with drugs and alcohol then violently assaulted.
The case against Nygard is being pursued by the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York.
Nygard’s accusers had 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 (pictured)
This is the same prosecutor seeking to question Andrew about his links to Epstein, whose own Caribbean island he visited.
There is no mention of Andrew in the Nygard case. Sources close to the prince have previously sought to make clear he is neither a ‘friend’ nor ‘associate’.
When Andrew, 60, visited Nygard’s Mayan-themed Bahamas resort in 2000, he took ex-wife Sarah Ferguson and daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.
Nygard arranged for a photo of himself and Andrew wandering on the sand, with the prince wearing boat shoes and matching blue shorts and shirt.
Last night US authorities released a 24-page indictment against Nygard setting out an alleged campaign of sexual abuse lasting from 1995 to this year.
Some of his ‘girlfriends’ were said to have been taken to swingers’ clubs and forced into orgies with strangers.
Like Epstein, Nygard allegedly targeted girls from disadvantaged backgrounds. The prosecutors said yesterday: ‘Nygard engaged in sexual “swaps” with male friends and business associates, who would bring Nygard a “date” for sex in exchange for access to one of Nygard’s “girlfriends” for sex.
Elkan Abramowitz, a New York-based lawyer for Nygard, declined to comment.
Duke ‘couldn’t have gone riding with sex accuser as he had allergy to horse hair’
By Stephen Wright and Richard Pendlebury for The Daily Mail
From his inability to sweat to his ‘Pizza Express’ story, providing alibis to reject the al legations made by his sex accuser Virginia Roberts has been a painful experience for the Duke of York.
Prince Andrew pictured at Wellington Arch riding for the first time in his role as Colonel of the Grenadier Guards
Prince Andrew and Virginia Roberts. From his inability to sweat to his ‘Pizza Express’ story, providing alibis to reject the al legations made by his sex accuser Ms Roberts has been a painful experience for the Duke of York
Ghislaine in £21bn bail bid to be out for Christmas
Ghislaine Maxwell’s husband has described her as ‘wonderful and loving’ in a £21million bail application.
The alleged madam for paedophile financier Jeffrey Epstein is giving as security her £17million joint wealth with Scott Borgerson, publicly acknowledging him as her spouse for the first time.
Family and friends are putting up the other £4million and Maxwell, 58, is offering to surrender her passports and submit to home confinement under armed guard.
In his letter to a court in New York, Mr Borgerson, a 44-year-old technology entrepreneur, says he believes in his wife’s innocence because ‘the Ghislaine I know is a wonderful and loving person’.
It is Maxwell’s second attempt to get bail ahead of her trial next July.
The youngest daughter of British publishing tycoon Robert Maxwell is accused of procuring girls as young as 14 for the late Epstein to abuse. She is also charged with lying under oath.
Her lawyers are seeking a hearing next week.
Now, in the final part of the Mail’s forensic investigation into the allegations made against the duke, yet another bizarre excuse has emerged.
This time it counters Miss Roberts’s assertion that the pair went horse riding together during a sex-filled break at Jeffrey Epstein’s New Mexico ranch, Zorro, about 20 years ago.
Recalling the alleged trip in her unpublished memoir, Miss Roberts wrote: ‘My job was to entertain him endlessly, whether that meant having to bestow him my body during an erotic massage or simply take him horseback riding.’
However, a friend of the duke told the Mail: ‘It’s well known amongst his family and friends that the duke had a hay fever allergy that was with him all his life. So he gave up horse riding in his teens. The duchess persuaded him to take an acupuncture cure in later life and that dealt with the horse hair allergy as well.
‘So he took up horse riding again in his 50s, took lessons in 2017 and 2018 and was proficient enough for Trooping the Colour in honour of his mother later that year.’ Extensive picture research appears to back up the comment by one of the duke’s most loyal supporters.
Although Andrew has been pictured at horse shows over the years, there was a decades-long gap between him being photographed on horseback as a youngster to images of him in the saddle in recent years.
Even so, the claim is sure to provoke raised eyebrows, after a litany of similar excuses have fallen apart.
Andrew denies all Miss Roberts’s allegations. The horse allergy alibi emerged in this newspaper’s painstaking investigation into her sex claims against the duke.
In the fourth and final part of our series, we ask questions about her suggestions the pair spent a couple of days together at Epstein’s Zorro ranch when she was a teenager and reveal that a long-serving police bodyguard is certain that she and Andrew were never there together.
Instead, he is sure – based on a contemporaneous Filofax record – that the duke visited the ranch just once with a beautiful American brain surgeon, Melanie Walker, with whom he had a close friendship at the time.
The Prince, his date at Jeffrey Epstein’s ranch, and what the bodyguard saw: Yes, Duke joined woman at paedophile’s ‘Zorro’ estate. But witnesses say it wasn’t his teenage accuser… it was a brain surgeon
By Richard Pendlebury and Stephen Wright for the Daily Mail
Early November in the first year of the millennium and the Duke of York is on his travels again.
As so often, he is combining pleasure with royal business. On this occasion his journey has brought him to New Mexico and a wilderness so vast it makes the royal estates at Balmoral and Sandringham seem like suburban gardens in comparison.
For the next week, his home from home is Zorro Ranch; 8,000 acres of scrub and brush prairie, at the centre of which stands a hacienda-style mansion surrounded by manicured lawns and secluded lodges.
HRH was the guest of a man with whom he had only recently become acquainted. But what a beneficial friend to make — or so it seemed at the time. Zorro was but one of several fantastic properties owned by Wall Street billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.
Epstein also ‘collected’ VIP friends like the Duke who liked to enjoy his largesse, as well as a host of attractive young females — some of them very young indeed. One of these females would be the Duke of York’s companion for the duration of his visit; indeed she was to share his sleeping quarters with him.
Pictured: Prince Andrew with Virginia Roberts in early 2001
DID ANDREW MEET VIRGINIA ROBERTS AT THE RANCH?
A Floridian teenager named Virginia Roberts had been recruited by Epstein to be his sex slave. As such, she was also expected to ‘service’ some of his famous friends.
In The Billionaire’s Playboy Club — the draft memoir Miss Roberts wrote in 2011 in the hope of getting a professional book deal — she described being sent to Zorro to meet up with the Duke. For two days, she and HRH were alone together, she wrote, save for security and domestic staff. Their time was filled with horseback riding and ‘erotic massages’.
Her 140-page manuscript — the most detailed account she has given of her time with Epstein — has since become a legal exhibit.
The Zorro interlude is just one of several devastating allegations Miss Roberts has made about the Duke over the past decade.
For his part, Andrew emphatically denies ever having had sexual relations with Miss Roberts. Indeed, he says he cannot even recall having met her.
But a disastrous interview on BBC’s Newsnight last November would appear to have failed to persuade viewers of the Duke’s innocence in these matters.
Neurosurgeon, academic and senior adviser to the president of the World Bank, Dr Melanie Walker (pictured) is one of the most enigmatic figures in the Epstein story; the polar opposite in several respects, to Miss Roberts, though both were part of the tycoon’s entourage
Since then he has been effectively banished from public life, and the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) wants to question him.
A statement in June from Blackfords lawyers (on behalf of the Duke) claimed the DoJ had effectively rejected three offers of help from the Prince, and he had been advised ‘the Duke is not and had never been a ‘target’ of their criminal investigations into Epstein’ and they had sought his confidential, voluntary co-operation.
It added: ‘Unfortunately, the DoJ has reacted to the first two offers by breaching their own confidentiality rules and claiming that the Duke has offered zero co-operation. In doing so, they are perhaps seeking publicity rather than accepting the assistance proffered.’
Geoffrey S. Berman, former U.S. attorney for the southern district of New York, was the target of their ire for his public statements.
There is no doubt the Duke demonstrated catastrophic misjudgment in relation to his friendship with Epstein, who killed himself last year while in prison facing paedophile sex-trafficking charges.
But was the Queen’s second son really an active member of Epstein’s paedophile cabal?
HOW ACCURATE ARE ACCUSER’S CLAIMS?
The first three parts of the Mail’s investigation into Miss Roberts’s allegations against the Duke of York have included a number of revelations that are distinctly unhelpful to his case. But we have also examined the accuracy of his accuser’s own claims.
Yesterday, we looked at the account she gave in The Billionaire’s Playboy Club manuscript of an orgy involving Epstein and a number of underage girls.
This had allegedly taken place on the tycoon’s private Caribbean island in the summer of 2001. In her memoir, Miss Roberts did not place the Duke at this extraordinary event nor any other like it. If he had indeed taken part, why would she not have mentioned it?
Yet in her 2015 legal deposition, made under oath, and in various media interviews, the Duke is a central participant in an orgy which appears identical in almost every respect — date, location, dialogue, ethnicity and number of girls, language barriers, aftermath — to the one she described in her manuscript.
How does one explain this as-yet-unexplained variation in a narrative concerning a serious criminal allegation?
Today, drawing on new eyewitness evidence and documents, we will dispassionately examine what Miss Roberts has written or said about the Duke in relation to Zorro Ranch.
The variances in her account are, if anything, more peculiar. Not least because under cross-examination five years after writing her memoir Miss Roberts seemed to deny she had met Andrew at the property.
The substance of this denial is supported by a credible new eyewitness, who made a contemporaneous note that still exists.
The Mail understands he is certain the Duke had visited Zorro on only one occasion.
HRH had indeed spent some of his time there alone, except for the company of a young female member of Epstein’s circle.
But she was not Virginia Roberts, said the source. And she was by no means under the age of consent.
Pictured: Prince Andrew attending the Regimental Band of the Coldstream Guards concert at Washington Square Park in 2001
THE DUKE’S STAY ‘WITH HIS GIRLFRIEND’
On October 28, 2000, the Duke of York left London bound for New York to begin an official visit to the United States.
On November 1, he flew on to Los Angeles, where his official duties concluded three days later. According to the Court Circular, they resumed in London on November 12, when Andrew laid a wreath at the Cenotaph in Whitehall.
It is between these two dates that he spent several days at Zorro Ranch in New Mexico, sources in London told the Mail.
The estate is remote, lying some 40 miles south of Santa Fe and a similar distance east of Albuquerque. Flight logs suggest Epstein used the airports in both cities when he travelled to Zorro.
The Duke was accompanied by the same senior Personal Protection Officer (PPO) who was to stay with him at Epstein’s mansion in New York the following Easter.
The police inspector — the Duke’s bodyguard for 15 years — kept a private Filofax diary in which he recorded his daily duties and observations. He still has that Filofax, sources say.
Using this resource, the PPO recalls that the Duke stayed in one of the guest lodges at Zorro, while he was quartered in a building near the ranch entrance.
‘He knew who went in and who went out,’ says a source. ‘And for most of the time the only person who was there with the Duke, apart from the ranch’s domestic staff, was his then girlfriend, Melanie Walker.’
Other sources have claimed that the Duke and his holiday companion were just good friends and not romantically involved.
SO JUST WHO IS DR MELANIE WALKER?
Neurosurgeon, academic and senior adviser to the president of the World Bank, Dr Melanie Walker is one of the most enigmatic figures in the Epstein story; the polar opposite in several respects, to Miss Roberts, though both were part of the tycoon’s entourage.
Dr Walker is said to have met Epstein in 1992, six months after graduating from the University of Texas. He told her he could get her an audition to model for the lingerie firm Victoria’s Secret.
The company was owned by fashion magnate Les Wexner, for whom Epstein acted as financial adviser. Dr Walker moved into one of Epstein’s New York apartments. In 1999, she began to appear as a passenger on his pilot’s flight logs.
That same year, having graduated from medical school, she took up a new role as Epstein’s science adviser.
She would later join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and became an intermediary between Epstein and the Microsoft co-founder.
But at the turn of the century Dr Walker, then 28 years old, seems to have been an important pivot in the tycoon’s burgeoning relationship with the Duke.
In June 2000, the neurosurgeon attended — according to the guest list — the ‘Dance of the Decades’ party thrown at Windsor Castle by the Queen to mark a number of royal birthday milestones, including the Duke’s 40th and Princess Anne’s 50th.
Also present were Epstein and his then girlfriend (and longstanding friend of Andrew) Ghislaine Maxwell, who is currently in a U.S. jail on remand and facing charges of perjury and abetting Epstein in his sex-offending. She denies any wrongdoing. Using his contemporaneous notes, the PPO recalls that while for most of the stay at Zorro Ranch the Duke and Dr Walker were alone — apart from security and Epstein’s resident domestic staff — Epstein and Maxwell had joined them there for ‘at least one night’.
But they were the only visitors during Andrew’s stay. The PPO is also ‘adamant’ that HRH only ever visited Zorro on that occasion, sources say. The PPO says he is sure that he never met or saw Miss Roberts during his time with the Duke.
That is not to say that she couldn’t have met the Duke when other PPOs were on duty — which remains a possibility.
However, the PPO’s recollection chimes with that of former Zorro housekeeper Deidre Stratton. She told a 2019 podcast investigation of the Epstein affair that the Duke had stayed for three days in one of the lodges at the ranch. His bodyguard slept elsewhere on the property. But the Duke had not been alone in his own three-bedroom accommodation. ‘At the time, Jeffrey supposedly had this neurosurgeon,’ Stratton claimed. ‘Quite young. Beautiful, young and brilliant and she stayed in the home with (the Duke).’
That beautiful young neurosurgeon can only have been Dr Melanie Walker, who today is an academic, physician and scientist who works at a community hospital in the U.S.
A source close to her told the Mail last night: ‘She and Andrew are friends and were at the ranch at some point in 1999 or 2000 with several other people.’
The Mail understands Dr Walker never met Miss Roberts at Zorro or on Epstein’s private island, Little St James, which she also visited, and saw nothing ‘inappropriate’ at either property.
My job there was to entertain him, whether giving erotic massages or taking him riding: What Virginia Roberts wrote in her memoir about trip to meet Prince Andrew… which she later described on oath as ‘inaccurate’
By Richard Pendlebury And Stephen Wright For The Daily Mail
When Virginia Roberts wrote her memoir, The Billionaire’s Playboy Club, she described having had three sexual encounters with the Duke of York.
The second occurred shortly afterwards at the Epstein mansion in New York.
Then, on page 105 of the manuscript, Miss Roberts describes a final sexual encounter with Andrew. She does so in considerable, if not compelling, detail.
Ghislaine Maxwell had told her to fly to Santa Fe to ‘meet someone there’.
Miss Roberts recalled: ‘It was the middle of the day when I arrived at the airport. One of the ranch hands came to pick me up in a big work truck that smelled like dirt and sweat.
‘When we arrived at the mansion, my guest was already there, waiting for me.
Virginia Roberts claims in her memoir that she had three sexual encounters with Prince Andrew, and that she was trafficked by Jeffery Epstein
‘I couldn’t wipe the look off my face as he turned around from the bookshelf that he was standing at. “Hello” that same old cheesy grin greeted me once again. It was His Highness Prince Andrew, and what a sight.
‘He wrapped his arms around my waist and greeted me like an old friend. I hugged him back, rolling my eyes at the same time, already dreading what lay in store over the next couple of days.
‘My job was to entertain him endlessly, whether that meant having to bestow him my body during an erotic massage or simply take him horseback riding. For the next couple of days he was to be my only concern.’
Miss Roberts and the Duke were the only guests at the ranch, she said. ‘The mansion was completely empty save a couple of maids, who also cooked our dinners for us, and a couple of bodyguards that we hardly even saw at all.
‘The time dragged slowly for me as I was counting down the hours until I flew away again . . . it wasn’t easy meeting the sexual desires of these strange men, the Prince being one of them.
‘He loved my feet and even licked between my toes . . . to me it was a living nightmare.’
On the morning of the second day, Miss Roberts said she was called by one of Epstein’s assistants.
‘I had a flight booked for me to leave that afternoon, to arrive at LaGuardia airport (in New York) in the evening.’
And as far as the memoir’s narrative is concerned, those two days at Zorro were the last time she ever met, let alone had sex with, HRH the Duke of York.
Ms Roberts claimed she spent time with Prince Andrew at Jeffrey Epstein’s 8,000-acre Zorro Ranch in New Mexico. Pictured: A master suite inside the property
The suggestion that Andrew went horse-riding with Miss Roberts is contested by his supporters.
A friend of the Duke said: ‘It’s well known among his family and friends that the Duke had a hay fever allergy that was with him all his life. So he gave up horse-riding in his teens.’
What, then, of pictures that clearly show the Duke on horseback in recent years? Apparently, the allergy has been cured.
‘The [Duchess of York] persuaded him to take an acupuncture cure in later life and that dealt with the horse hair allergy as well,’ says the source.
‘So he took up horse-riding again in his 50s, took lessons in 2017 and 2018, and was proficient enough for Trooping the Colour in honour of his mother, the Queen, later that year. The Duchess often joked that it was just her luck to marry a Prince who didn’t like horse-riding for pleasure — one of her great passions earlier in life.’
2015 . . . VIRGINIA CHANGES HER STORY
Pictured: Virginia Roberts poses outside the Zorro Ranch in New Mexico
In 2015, Miss Roberts attempted to join a legal action that had been brought by two other alleged victims of Epstein against the U.S. authorities in relation to the ‘sweetheart deal of the century’.
This had allowed the paedophile tycoon to escape with a short prison sentence when he was prosecuted in 2007-8.
To support her motion, Miss Roberts submitted a sworn affidavit in which she set out ‘under penalty of perjury’ her allegations against Esptein and his powerful friends who had allegedly abused her.
She included in her affidavit four photographs taken of her during visits to Zorro Ranch.
She alleged in her affidavit that she’d had sex with Epstein’s lawyer, the Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, in a massage room at the ranch.
Dershowitz vehemently denies ever having sex with her. Miss Roberts says of the Duke: ‘I had sex with him three times, including one orgy.’
She describes these occasions, which took place, she says, in London, at Epstein’s New York mansion and at his private island in the Caribbean.
The sexual interlude with the Duke at Zorro Ranch, set out in such detail in her memoir, did not — for whatever reason — feature in her evidence.
DID SOMEONE ELSE MAKE A MISTAKE?
After Ghislaine Maxwell accused her of lying about her paedophile allegations, Miss Roberts brought a defamation action against her.
In November 2016, the abuse victim gave evidence by video link from her home in Australia. ‘Exhibit PP’ is a transcript of part of her deposition which has since been released into the public domain.
Miss Roberts is being cross-examined by Maxwell’s lawyer about perceived inaccuracies in articles about her; particularly those written by the Sunday newspaper journalist to whom she had given her first media interview in 2011.
Pictured: Prince Andrew goes for an early morning drive at Windsor Castle on Monday
Miss Roberts was asked by the lawyer to look at copies of these articles and make ‘checkmarks’ against any of the statements which she considered to be inaccurate.
Maxwell’s lawyer: ‘What’s the next one you have a checkmark by?
Miss Roberts: ‘I also saw Prince Andrew at a ranch in New Mexico.’
Lawyer: ‘Did you tell that to (name of journalist)?
Miss Roberts: ‘No. And I think it’s a mistake. Maybe she meant somewhere else, but because we had been talking about so much, maybe she just put New Mexico.
‘I don’t think (the journalist) intentionally lied on any of these . . . some of the information just got misheard, or mishandled.’
Lawyer: ‘And what was printed was inaccurate?’
Miss Roberts: ‘Was that printed? I don’t remember reading that in the papers, but if it was printed, it’s inaccurate.’
So how are we able to reconcile this assertion with the contents of The Billionaire’s Playboy Club?
According to another court document in May 2011, Miss Roberts sent an email to a journalist in which she boasted of the manuscript: ‘I’m bringing down the house with this book!’
In later cross-examination during the Maxwell defamation case, Miss Roberts insisted that the manuscript was ‘based on fact’. There were, she conceded, ‘some mistakes’.
Mistakes in a story such as this would be natural. The events that Miss Roberts talks about allegedly took place a long time ago. Memories inexorably dissipate and degrade.
Miss Roberts is also a victim of dreadful sexual abuse; she was groomed and trafficked by Jeffrey Epstein.
Given all of the trauma that attaches to the memories of that period, conflation and confusion in some of her recollection would be expected.
But, given the two different stories she has told about the alleged goings-on at the ranch in New Mexico, how can we possibly know which one to believe?
The same could be asked of the other three sexual encounters in which Miss Roberts has alleged that the Duke engaged with her.
Her accounts are occasionally inconsistent and sometimes contradictory. Yet Prince Andrew’s denials are simply not good enough to clear his name.
The five key questions for Duke and accuser
Virginia Roberts maintains she had sex with the Duke of York on three occasions: in 2001 in London, in New York and on Jeffrey Epstein’s private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Little St James.
He emphatically denies her claims and says he cannot even recall meeting her, despite a picture of them together at Ghislaine Maxwell’s London house — allegedly taken on March 10 of that year.
As the Mail concludes its ground-breaking forensic investigation into their claims and counter-claims, each party is left with further difficult questions to answer.
1. What was the principal reason behind your long relationship with the billionaire paedophile Jeffrey Epstein?
2. What happened during your still unexplained ‘private time’ in New York in Easter Week 2001?
3. How much taxpayers’ money did you ‘save’ by staying at Epstein’s mansion in New York?
4. Why did you delay your family holiday in the Bahamas in April 2001 to fly to Epstein’s private island?
5. Do you now understand why you are seen as lacking empathy for how the victims of Epstein must feel?
1. Why in your memoir The Billionaire’s Playboy Club did you not say that the Duke took part in an orgy with you on Little St James, and then allege it in later legal depositions?
2. Why did you claim you had an ‘erotic’ stay with the Duke at Zorro Ranch, then deny such an event took place in questioning under oath?
3. Can you explain why your description of the bath at Ghislaine Maxwell’s home, where you say you had sex with the Duke, is different to the floor plans?
4. Tramp nightclub has never had a VIP area and the Duke never drinks alcohol. Are you certain you went dancing at the club and drank together?
5. Do you recall seeing the Duke on Little St James in April 2001, around four months before the alleged Russian orgy incident involving you, him and others?