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How a fabricated murder-for-hire plot helped trigger Peter Nygard's downfallThis Nygard survivor and a former Scotland Yard detective helped expose the Canadian fashion executive accused of sex crimes spanning nearly half a century. Nygard denies the allegations.

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This Nygard survivor and a former Scotland Yard detective helped expose the accused Canadian fashion executive

Timothy Sawa, CBC(Evil By Design)

Thursdays at 9 pm on CBC and CBC Gem.

WARNING: This article contains graphic content and may affect those who have experienced​ ​​​sexual violence or know someone affected by it. 

Litira Fox was standing in the customs hall at Lynden Pindling airport in Nassau, Bahamas, shuffling along in the endless snake-like queue of weary vacation travelers, when she got a funny feeling. 

It was the summer of 2015, and she had just returned from three days of clandestine meetings on a neighbouring Caribbean island.

At the time Peter Nygard was rich and powerful with deep connections to politicians and police officers in the Bahamas, where he lived part-time. But Fox knew the Canadian fashion mogul's secret. He was a rapist. And she had just shared everything she knew with a team of foreign investigators.

As Fox got closer to the front of the line at the airport, the local Bahamian police were waiting for her. 

"I was really scared."

Fox's story is part of a new three-part television documentary series from CBC Docs, called Evil by Design: Surviving Nygard

The series is based on investigative reporting from The Fifth Estateand the CBC podcast Evil by Design.

It unravels the tale of how an undercover operation involving two notorious Nassau gangsters and a fabricated murder-for-hire plot led to a chance meeting between Fox and a former Scotland Yard detective. That meeting would be a key trigger in the eventual downfall of the Canadian clothing mogul, Nygard.

Fox is a Bahamian Nygard survivor who provided inside information about Nygard's decades-long reign of terror. In the process, she was arrested, jailed and interrogated by police officers. Because Nygard had connections with the highest levels of the Bahamian government, Fox wondered whether that had something to do with her detention.

"They took me to the station and they were rude, telling me stuff like, 'I'll hit you' and 'mash your effin' eye to this table,'" she said. 

Then they asked if she was providing information about Nygard.

"I was like, 'Well, shit. I wonder if Peter, like, had this set up?'"

A neighbourly dispute 

In 2015, Nygard was still at the helm of his successful Canadian clothing empire worth hundreds of millions of dollars and living part of every year at his sprawling seaside estate in the Bahamas.

His next-door neighbour there was hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon. 

A property dispute between the two wealthy men had escalated over several years into a bitter and very public legal and PR battle that included more than a dozen lawsuits.

That same year, Damian McLoughlin got a phone call. The former Scotland Yard detective turned private investigator had been part of Bacon's security team for more than a decade.

The London-based investigator was told to pack his bag and head to the Bahamas. Two Bahamian gangsters had come forward saying Nygard had hired them to murder Bacon. They had agreed to switch sides for a fee.

"I flew down to the Bahamas to verify whether there was a real threat to life to Mr. Bacon," said McLoughlin, in his first TV interview about his role in the Nygard saga.

After about a month of investigation, which included covertly recorded meetings between the gangsters and Nygard, it became obvious the murder-for-hire plot didn't exist.

"We realized then that it wasn't really a threat to life," said McLoughlin. "Nygard didn't have an appetite for that level of violence or harm against Louis Bacon."

But then the gangsters offered to introduce McLoughlin to someone else they believed could provide damaging information about Nygard.

That's when McLoughlin met Fox. He says it was clear from the start that Fox knew Nygard well, and she was blunt: "Damian, he's a rapist."

An investigation into a murder-for-hire plot helped trigger Peter Nygard’s downfall | Evil By Design: Surviving Nygard

8 days agoDuration 1:06This Nygard survivor and a former Scotland Yard detective helped expose the Canadian fashion executive accused of sex crimes spanning nearly half a century. Nygard denies the allegations.Survivors of Nygard may feel empowered sharing their stories, but it comes with risk


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