Canadian designer Nygård links NY billionaire Bacon to Bahamas fire

Thu Apr 9, 2015 12:29pm EDT
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By Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK, April 9 (Reuters) - Canadian fashion designer Peter Nygård escalated his acrimonious U.S. legal battle with Louis Bacon, saying the billionaire hedge fund manager may have driven a groundskeeper to set a fire that heavily damaged Nygård's neighboring Bahamas beachfront estate.

Nygård made the accusation in a countersuit filed Wednesday in a New York state court in Manhattan, where he sought $50 million to punish Bacon for an alleged years-long "vendetta" that he said included harassment and frivolous litigation.

The countersuit responded to Bacon's own defamation lawsuit accusing the chairman of Winnipeg-based Nygård International of orchestrating an "obsessive, deliberate and malicious" smear campaign against him for 4-1/2 years.

Bacon, who founded New York-based Moore Capital Management, doubled the damages sought to $100 million in March.

Both men have denied each other's claims, many of which have been raised in print and social media in the Bahamas.

They are linked to Bacon's opposition to Nygård's desire to rebuild his estate in the gated Lyford Cay community, following a Nov. 11, 2009 fire that caused millions of dollars of damage.

Bacon, some environmental groups and residents have said the work might harm the surrounding ecosystem and beaches.

In Wednesday's countersuit, Nygård said the fire started after Bacon ordered his property manager Dan Tuckfield to "find a way to burn Mr. Nygård's ****ing house down."   Continued...