NY billionaire sues Canadian designer for defamation amid Bahamas feud

Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:38pm EST
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK Jan 23 (Reuters) - The billionaire hedge fund manager Louis Bacon has filed a $50 million defamation lawsuit against the Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygård, escalating a long-running battle between the owners of neighboring properties in an exclusive gated community in the Bahamas.

A spokeswoman for Nygård called the latest allegations "completely without merit."

In a complaint made public on Friday, Bacon accused Nygård of orchestrating an "obsessive and malicious" smear campaign against him for 4-1/2 years.

Bacon, the founder of Moore Capital Management LP in New York, said the campaign has included the use of doctored YouTube videos and organization of street rallies, and falsely linked him to arson, bribery, drug smuggling, the Ku Klux Klan and murder.

Nygård "caused these brazen lies to be published with actual malice and reckless disregard for the truth," Bacon said in the complaint, which is dated Jan. 14 and filed with a New York state court in Manhattan.

Bacon opposes Nygård's effort to expand his property in Lyford Cay community on the west side of New Providence Island in the Bahamas.

Some environmental groups and residents have said the expansion may damage the surrounding ecosystem and beaches.

Nygård, a son of Finnish immigrants, is chairman of Winnipeg-based Nygård International.   Continued...