By RASHAD ROLLE
Tribune Staff Reporter
HEDGE fund billionaire Louis Bacon is suing fashion mogul Peter Nygard for $50m, alleging that Mr Nygard has waged an “obsessive and malicious” smear campaign against him in this country since 2010.
The allegations are contained in a recently unsealed lawsuit that was filed on behalf of Mr Bacon in New York against Mr Nygard on January 14.
The complaint is also against his two companies, Nygard International Partnership and Nygard Inc.
A spokesperson for Mr Nygard, according to the international news magazine Business Insider, has dismissed the lawsuit as “completely without merit”.
Mr Bacon and Mr Nygard own adjacent properties on Lyford Cay and have been feuding for years.
The lawsuit accused Mr Nygard of being a “ringleader of a conspiracy to inflict reputational and other harm on Mr Bacon through a variety of unlawful means.”
Mr Bacon claimed that Mr Nygard has “transmitted, conspired to transmit or aided and abetted the transmission of a variety of false information,” including that he murdered people who died under suspicious circumstances, that he is a white supremacist and member of the Ku Klux Klan, that he smuggled narcotics and fugitives, that he committed arson on Mr Nygard’s residence and that he bribed Bahamian officials.
Mr Bacon claimed the false information was at times spread by “manipulating genuine news reports produced and aired by legitimate news organisations.”
That he was charged by prosecutors and “accused of criminal conspiracy” in a “billion dollar scam” that is “one of the biggest Wall Street insider trading cases ever” referring to the insider trading arrest of Rajat Gupta.
And that he possessed terrorist weaponry (such as illegal speakers) that pose a national security threat to the Bahamas.
The lawsuit also referred to the recent appearance at the New Year’s Day Junkanoo Parade of a group of people wearing outfits similar to those worn by Ku Klux Klan members.
“(They paraded) through the streets with placards emblazoned with ‘Bacon is KKK’ and ‘Bacon Go Home.’ Upon information and belief, this anti-Bacon protest was part of the smear campaign and orchestrated by the Nygard defendants and Nygard’s proxies,” the lawsuit claims.
The lawsuit also referred to another protest in July of last year when some Bahamians marched wearing t-shirts while hoisting posters accusing Mr Bacon of being in the KKK.
Mr Bacon claimed that statements allegedly made by Mr Nygard have damaged his “professional, philanthropic and personal reputation.”
In a response to the lawsuit, according to Business Insider, Mr Nygard’s spokesperson said: “This action is simply the latest attempt by Mr Bacon to deflect media attention away from his real agenda, which is to unseat the ruling political party in the Bahamas so that his own candidate can take power and block reconstruction of Mr Nygard’s residence, which is next door to his own estate.
“It is no secret that Mr Bacon has long expressed interest in buying Mr Nygard’s property and has sought to block his neighbour from rebuilding after a suspicious fire destroyed part of Nygard Cay several years ago. Mr Bacon has falsely and maliciously accused Mr Nygard and Prime Minister Perry Christie of government corruption as part of a judicial review in the Bahamas that is designed to advance his agenda by damaging the administration and further delaying Mr Nygard’s reconstruction, which cannot be permitted as long as the review is underway. In fact, Mr Bacon has falsified evidence of corruption,” the magazine claimed.