How a Neighbors’ Feud in Paradise Launched an International Rape Case

Ms. Macdonald quit in 1980, shortly after the Winnipeg police charged Mr. Nygard with raping an 18-year-old woman. The case was dropped after the woman refused to testify.

Another former employee said that on a business trip to Hong Kong that same year, Mr. Nygard slipped into her hotel room while she slept. The woman, Jonna Laursen, then 32, told The Times that he raped her. A single mother from Denmark, she said she worried the police wouldn’t take her seriously and she’d lose her reputation and job.

“I knew the right thing would be to report it,” Ms. Laursen said, “but somehow I felt that I would come out the loser.”

Just over a year later, she said, she was fired without cause. She then described the episode to a colleague, Dale Dreffs, who confirmed hearing it. When Ms. Laursen threatened to go to the press, a company manager offered her $6,700 and a letter of recommendation for her silence, she said.

In 1995, a new hire was taken from the airport to Mr. Nygard’s Winnipeg office-apartment, where he had sex with her “against her will,” a lawsuit said. The woman’s lawyer confirmed that the suit led to a nondisclosure agreement. Then, in 1996, Mr. Nygard’s company settled sexual harassment complaints against him by three former workers — for about $15,000, according to The Winnipeg Free Press.

In 2015, another former employee said, Mr. Nygard came into her locked room while she slept at his Los Angeles home and raped her. He later fired her, she said. Emails shown to The Times confirmed that she contacted a lawyer at the time about suing him. The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, is the only non-Bahamian to join the new lawsuit.

Separately, two women sued Mr. Nygard last month for sexual battery. One, who was not identified, said she was under 18 — the California age of consent — when she visited Mr. Nygard’s Los Angeles home in 2012. Her lawsuit said Mr. Nygard knew her age “yet repeatedly had sexual intercourse with her.”