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Docuseries Dissects Peter Nygard Sex-Abuse Saga

Disgraced apparel magnate Peter Nygard, who was arrested last week by Canadian authorities for his alleged role in a sex-trafficking and racketeering operation that spanned more than 20 years, will now have his ignominious dealings splashed across flat screens in living rooms across the globe.

On Friday, the Hollywood Reporter (owned by Sourcing Journal’s parent company PMC) reported that the former Nygard International chairman, who was forced to resign from his post in February after an FBI raid of his company headquarters, will be depicted in a forthcoming true-crime documentary on the soon-to-launch Discovery+ streaming service. “Unseamly: The Investigation of Peter Nygard,” will delve into the apparel veteran’s alleged crimes, which took place across international locales including the U.S., Canada and the Bahamas.

Nygard, now 79, stands accused of sexually abusing a number of women and underage girls, with some who have said his crimes date back to the 1970s. The former executive purportedly lured the women into his web by preying on their career aspirations, promising them fashion modeling gigs. The scheme eventually grew to see employees and friends recruiting women on Nygard’s behalf, who were then pimped out to the mogul’s network of high-profile associates.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the four-part Discovery+ documentary, which will be available for streaming Feb. 12, will paint a picture of Nygard’s upbringing and the rise of his career in fashion. It will also detail his downfall, spurred by a dispute with a neighbor who helped fund an investigation that ultimately brought the allegations to light. The docuseries will showcase interviews with journalists, family members, attorneys and former staff—as well as the testimony of a dozen alleged victims, some claiming that they were drugged and violently assaulted by the exec.

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Nygard has cut ties with his former company and his legal team has denied the charges. A representative for Nygard International did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The events that felled Nygard’s half-century career are shocking and salacious, but not unfamiliar. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, financier Jeffrey Epstein, Victoria’s Secret exec Ed Razek, American Apparel bad boy Dov Charney and famed fashion photographer Terry Richardson are just some of the titans of industry who have hidden—sometimes successfully and for years— behind the protective armor of their businesses while conducting shady, sexually predatory dealings of their own behind the scenes. In a post-Me-Too era, however, a reckoning is all but assured—even if the wheels of justice turn slowly.

The events of this past summer have also heightened the stakes for companies that cover up—or remain complacent in the face of—bad behavior by their leaders. Amid protests of racial inequity, sexism and sometimes outright employee abuse, brands have incurred steep costs to their reputational equity due to deficient corporate culture that trickles down from the top.

The story of Nygard’s fall may be recognizable, but his actions—and the culture that enabled them to persist for so many years—proved central to his business’ demise. After the FBI raid in February, 10 women filed a civil class-action lawsuit against the Canadian millionaire, accusing him of rape between 2008 and 2015—a number that swelled to 36 by June.

The firm filed for bankruptcy in March in both the U.S. and Canada after it was revealed that its companies were more than $50 million in debt to about 350 creditors across the globe, CBC News Canada reported—including $186,000 in personal charges racked up on corporate credit cards by high-level executives in the week leading up to the filing. As of Dec. 4, Nygard International’s apparel and denim companies are fighting in Manitoba court to regain control of their assets, though their debt has only been partially repaid, it added.