Ever since allegations against Harvey Weinstein were made public in October of last year, Hollywood has been turned inside out by months of sexual harassment and assault allegations directed at powerful people in the industry; eventually, the situation evolved into the #MeToo movement and the Time's Up organization. Now, that same energy is spilling over into other industries. Late on Wednesday night, model Kate Upton publicly accused Paul Marciano, 65, co-founder of Guess, of “us[ing] his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women.” She used the hashtag #MeToo, but it was unclear whether Upton was alluding to harassment that she endured or if she was speaking up for something that happened to other models.
Upton has modeled for Guess before and was even the face the brand in 2011. Her longtime involvement with the brand would have likely had her work closely with Marciano.
TMZ caught up with Upton in LAX soon after her social media posts and asked her directly about her claims. “I’m excited to tell my whole story, but a walk to the car is not gonna cover it,” she told the TMZ reporter. She repeated that statement a couple times when pressed further. When asked what she thinks should be done to keep people in positions of power from abusing that power, Upton said: “I think a lot around them know about it and need to speak out." She then clarified that she doesn’t necessarily mean models need to speak out, and instead the people in higher positions of power—in this case, other executives at Guess—who know about harassment and became complicit by not using their leverage to do something about it. She also said there are “way more” cases like this.
Soon after Upton shared her statement on Twitter, numerous other people replied to her, either showing support or admitting they either knew people who had experienced the same thing or had experienced it themselves. As of right now, these are unverified allegations—as are Upton’s. However, if her statements to TMZ are anything to go by, she will provide more details very soon.
I worked with him for a few years and was too afraid to say anything, but this is true. So very true.— Sade Sellers (@IAMSadeSellers) February 1, 2018
Thank you for speaking up on this. I personally know someone who was affected this way while I was working there. I'm sorry this happened to you as well.— Cari (@SaviChick) February 1, 2018
Paul Marciano has been doing this for at least 25 years, I knew about it when I worked for Georges in the early/ mid-nineties.— Nicole Hickman James (@nicolejames) February 1, 2018
Thank you for having the courage to speak up. This is how it ends. 💔— Erin McCoy (@erinshow23) January 31, 2018
At the time of writing, Marciano has not responded to Upton’s allegations.