Daniel Fitzgerald is accused of conspiring with fashion mogul Peter Nygard to operate sex trafficking rings, recruiting victims for their sexual gratification
LOS ANGELES – A California federal court has issued an injunction against Hollywood influencer and real estate developer, Daniel Fitzgerald, for harassing and threatening the victims of a sex trafficking ring he allegedly operated with disgraced fashion mogul, Peter Nygard. Fitzgerald is accused by at least 10 women of conspiring with Nygard to use fraud and force to coerce them and others into commercial sex acts. Nygard was indicted by the Department of Justice in December 2020 for spearheading a sex trafficking and racketeering enterprise.
Fitzgerald, known online as “DannyHollywoodHomes,” develops and owns Southern California mansions and “party compounds” that have been rented by celebrities like Justin Bieber, Lil’ Jon, and a host of online influencers and content creators. A civil lawsuit accuses Fitzgerald of conspiring to operate the “Nygard-Fitzgerald Sex Trafficking Racketeering Enterprise” to “recruit, entice, transport, harbor, and maintain adult and minor-aged female victims for Nygard’s sexual gratification.” It claims he engaged in “sexual swaps” of girls with Nygard without the victims’ consent. The complaint also asserts that, in addition to his involvement in the Nygard trafficking ring, Fitzgerald also operated his own sex trafficking venture.
According to the preliminary injunction filed on October 28, after the victims filed their lawsuit against Fitzgerald, he created YouTube videos and social media accounts, and circulated a flyer throughout Cabo, Mexico, identifying several of his accusers and making blatantly false and disparaging attacks on their character and reputation. The court found that Fitzgerald’s sole motivation was to intimidate his accusers and dissuade other victims from coming forward. The injunction prohibits Fitzgerald and his associates from publicly circulating information that identifies his accusers by name or description, and from making threatening or harassing communications to anyone directly connected with the lawsuit. He must also maintain 100 feet of physical distance from his accusers, and remove the videos, postings, and social media accounts in question.
“Our clients exhibited incredible strength and bravery in coming forward, and, in so doing faced physical and psychological threats by Mr. Fitzgerald,” said Greg Gutzler, an attorney for the victims and partner with DiCello Levitt Gutzler in New York. “The Court correctly required Fitzgerald and those working on his behalf to stop their shameful bullying of these women and, further, to remove the offending and false materials they put online and into the community. Our justice system relies on the ability of victims to step forward and seek accountability from wrongdoers; witness intimidation and harassment are antithetical to the goals of a fair and equitable justice system. We will protect our clients and witnesses and uphold the dignity of the system.”
Gutzler is joined in the lawsuit by co-counsel Lisa D. Haba of the Haba Law Firm and John H. Gomez and Deborah S. Dixon of Gomez Trial Attorneys. Gutzler and Haba also represent the original Nygard accusers in their civil action.
In February 2020, federal agents and New York police officers raided Nygard’s Manhattan business headquarters and his Los Angeles home, following a five-month investigation into allegations of sexual assault by a joint child exploitation task force that included FBI agents and the NYPD.
This followed the filing of a second amended complaint in June 2019 by attorneys representing 57 Nygard victims who came forward with claims corroborating a decades-long sex trafficking conspiracy by Nygard, his corporate entities, and numerous Nygard corporate officers and directors who aided and enabled his crimes. It is alleged that several of the plaintiffs were underage when Nygard sexually assaulted them, including two as young as 14. The complaint asserted that Nygard’s sexual predation was an “open secret” at the Nygard companies and that the companies were “instrumental in knowingly aiding, abetting, facilitating, conspiring, and participating in” the trafficking the plaintiffs while knowing that both were under 18, to engage in a commercial sex act.
The Fitzgerald case is Jane Doe Nos. 1-10 v. Daniel S. Fitzgerald Case 2:20-cv-10713-DDP-RAO, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division. Copies of the complaint and preliminary injunction are available upon request.
About DiCello Levitt
At DiCello Levitt, we’re dedicated to achieving justice for our clients through class action, business-to-business, public client, whistleblower, personal injury, and mass tort litigation. Our lawyers are highly respected for their ability to litigate and win cases—whether by trial, settlement, or otherwise—for people who have suffered harm, global corporations that have sustained significant economic losses, and public clients seeking to protect their citizens’ rights and interests. Every day, we put our reputations—and our capital—on the line for our clients.