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NYGARD’S BLITZ DEFENSE: Canadian designer-entrepreneur Peter Nygård’s drive to avoid unfavorable publicity apparently knows neither bounds nor international boundaries. His battle to stop the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. from broadcasting what appears to be a probing segment on him and his company, Nygård International Partnership, has now carried into three separate legal jurisdictions — his home province of Manitoba, where he’s filed two lawsuits aimed at both CBC journalists and former employees alleged to have provided confidential information about the firm; New York, where a suit in U.S. District Court alleged copyright infringement by a CBC film crew at the opening of Nygård’s Time Square flagship in November, and San Jose, where a U.S. District Court granted Nygård’s motion to subpoena from Google the IP address of a blogger who’d made unflattering remarks about Nygård on a Bahaman Web site, shesomajor.com, hosted by Google, following a Nov. 11 fire that nearly destroyed Nygård Cay, the mogul’s 22-bedroom manse in the Bahamas.
The actions date back to last March and revolve around efforts to stop the CBC program “The Fifth Estate” from researching and airing a piece about the flamboyant designer. While the CBC declined to comment on pending litigation, the Winnipeg Free Press identified two of the three former employees accused of disclosing confidential information as Patrick Prowse, former director of human resources, and Dana Neal, former recruitment and retention manager. After the as-yet-unidentified blogger expressed anticipation that the CBC segment would “expose [Nygård] for what he really is,” a Nygård spokeswoman said the firm believes “that the blogger who made the negative comments may be involved with the CBC and the other defendants referred to in the Manitoba actions.”
A statement from Nygård on the various actions read, “Our company has had to defend and protect its good reputation, its thousands of employees worldwide and its trademark and copyright at all costs.”
As for Nygård’s other headache, the fire at Nygård Cay, that was ruled accidental and stemmed from an electrical short which caused “millions and millions” of dollars worth of damage, according to Bahamas police press liaison officer Sergeant Chrislynn Skippings. A Nygård spokeswoman said she was unable to answer questions on whether the property would be expanded for commercial purposes, as had recently been discussed, or whether it was insured.
— Matthew Lynch and Rosemary Feitelberg