Given Mr. Nygard’s alleged sway in the Bahamas, we have been explained to we required to be very careful.
We switched motels each individual couple of times so no a person could observe us. A Courtyard Marriott employee insisted that the hotel could not deny I was remaining there if someone requested for me by name, so he disguised me as “LaKim LaBarker,” a pseudonym that seemed like bad tradecraft.
Just one supply would converse to me only in a auto as he drove us through a wooded location, he said, worryingly: “Don’t be concerned. I’m not going to eliminate you.” People today recorded our discussions with out telling us. A male with a spoofed phone selection (which hid his true location and range) named my dad, searching for me. No 1 at any time termed my dad on the lookout for me.
Mr. Nygard actively tried using to shut down the write-up. He submitted a racketeering lawsuit versus Mr. Bacon, accusing him of trying to plant a untrue story with The New York Periods. Just one of his attorneys called the allegations “paid-for lies.” Mr. Nygard’s spokesman falsely prompt that I experienced taken $55,000 funneled as a result of Mr. Bacon’s foundation. (The so-termed evidence: On a general public 2016 tax return for the foundation’s grants, conveniently printable from the world-wide-web, any individual experienced scrawled “—BARKER $55K” subsequent to a grant for Media Issues.)
Weeks just before we very first hoped to publish, we doubled down on our interviews, traveling to our sources to corroborate their stories and crosschecking for inconsistencies. We found that Mr. Smith and his team experienced distribute additional funds all over than everyone experienced earlier told us in specific, they had compensated two women of all ages who had served discover alleged victims.
Reporting was complex by the reality that Mr. Smith experienced not long ago almost died in a paragliding incident in Italy, and we experienced to job interview him as he recovered in an Italian clinic. At moments, he screamed in pain.
Then a reporter’s worst nightmare occurred: Two accusers told us they experienced been lying all along. They claimed they had never met Mr. Nygard. They claimed they had been paid to lie — not by Mr. Smith, not by Mr. Bacon, but by a previous Nygard staff, Richette Ross, a person of the two gals who had helped locate victims for Mr. Smith. He had paid her the equal of $86,000 a yr — for her stability and to assistance with a different lawsuit in opposition to Mr. Nygard, he claimed.
Ms. Ross handed a lie-detector examination denying she experienced paid any one to lie, the polygraph examiner advised us. In December, her Florida lawyer sent me a stop-and-desist letter, threatening to sue if I continued chatting about what we experienced been informed.