Here we go again. Following a scathing interview with Time, wherein Kate Upton alleged that Paul Marciano, co-founder and CEO of Guess, sexually assaulted her, the fashion executive has stepped aside pending an investigation. Marciano had previously denied any wrongdoing. “I have never touched Kate Upton. I have never been alone with Kate Upton. I have never acted inappropriately toward her,” he said. On Tuesday, however, Marciano agreed to "relinquish his day to day responsibilities at the company, on an unpaid basis." He said in a press release, "I have pledged my full cooperation to the company, and I have the utmost confidence in our CEO, Victor Herrero, to continue leading the Company during this time."
In the wake of the news, Guess share prices have dropped 4%. Mind you, the stock price has plummeted more than 20% since January 31, when Upton took to Twitter to air her grievances against the fashion mogul. “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @Guess is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo,” she wrote.
In the Time interview, which was published on February 7th, Upton elaborated on the suggestive tweet, detailing an incident from her first Guess lingerie modeling campaign back in 2010. At the time, Upton was just 18 years old. “As soon as I walked in with photographer Yu Tsai, Paul came straight up to me, forcibly grabbed my breasts, and started feeling them—playing with them actually.” Upton said Marciano claimed he wanted to ensure her breasts were real.
The harassment did not stop there. Upton details multiple instances of misconduct. In one instance, a photographer even had to intervene to prevent things from escalating. On her last shoot for the brand, Upton says Marciano was “outwardly rude and degrading the entire time,” going as far as to call her a “fat pig,” at which point he was asked to leave. All in all, Upton says her experience with Marciano made her rethink her modeling career and “took a huge toll on my confidence and self-worth.”