One week after Kate Upton accused the co-founder and chief creative officer of Guess, Paul Marciano, of sexual harassment on Jan. 31, she is giving details about her experience with him in a bombshell interview with TIME.
“After the first day of shooting the Guess Lingerie campaign [on July 25, 2010], Paul Marciano said he wanted to meet with me,” she began. “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. After I pushed him away, he said, ‘I’m making sure they’re real.’” Things only got worse from there.
“Despite doing everything I could physically do to avoid his touch throughout the meeting, he continued to touch me in a very dominating and aggressive way, grabbing my thighs, my arms to pull me closer, my shoulders to pull me closer, my neck, my breasts, and smelling me,” she continued. Later, he “forcibly grabbed the back of my head so that I could not move and started kissing my face and my neck. He then told Yu Tsai to leave us alone. I was able to send a quick text to Yu Tsai asking him to stay. He did, but that did not stop Paul’s constant grabbing. I was extremely shaken, surprised and scared.” The photographer corroborated all of Kate’s claims to the magazine.
Paul went on to harass her several times, asking to go to her hotel room and inviting her to dinner. She says he got mad when she refused, and she was fired from Guess. “Someone had called my agency to say I had gotten fat and would not be needed on set [that day],” she said. “I was devastated, especially because at this point no one from Guess had even seen me.”
The detailed story comes one week after Kate tweeted her original vague accusations. “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo,” Kate wrote in a powerful tweet. She later shared the tweet on her Instagram, elaborating that, “he shouldn’t be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women #metoo.”
— Kate Upton (@KateUpton) January 31, 2018
Actress and director Sade Sellers, who claims to have worked with Marciano, seemingly confirmed Kate’s claims and then some. “Welp, everyone has their day and today is yours, Paul Marciano,” she tweeted. “I stopped supporting Guess years ago when I worked with him in Beverly Hills. Disgusting pig. Good for you, Kate. The way not only him, but his brother treats women is appalling. I’ve got stories and tears for days.”
Then, another woman is stepped forward with a horror story of her own. The Blast, who were investigating Paul before Kate came forward, spoke with an aspiring model, who wished to remain anonymous, who met the designer in 2016 via social media and was invited to Guess headquarters. The “Jane Doe” claims that while trying on clothing for Paul, he “reached over and pulled my breast out of the dress,” before trying to kiss her. “I kind of laughed and said, ‘I have a boyfriend’ and pushed him away,” she said.
After the incident, she revealed she took a break from modeling because she “was disgusted with the industry and creepy people.” However, Paul reached out to her again in 2017, asking for photos of her breasts. “[Paul is] taking advantage of his position of power, and promises a career if you play his game, but he’s just preying on the dreams of young girls,” she added. However, Kate and Jane Doe are not the first models to come forward. In 2009, Lindsey Ring filed a lawsuit against Paul claiming she was sexually assaulted while working for the company as a fit model.
Paul and Guess have denied both allegations. “The investigation determined the following: One allegation was taken from a publicly available lawsuit that was filed in 2009. Mr. Marciano denied the allegation at that time, and a contemporaneous investigation conducted in 2009 by the Company and outside counsel did not corroborate the plaintiff’s claims,” Guess said in a statement to the publication. “The second allegation concerns an aspiring model who is quoted anonymously in the story claiming inappropriate conduct in March 2016. Mr. Marciano also denies this allegation. To date, the current investigation has not corroborated either allegation, and the Board of Directors has been unable to determine that either accusation has merit.”
Paul insisted to Time that all of Kate’s accusations are false. “I have never been alone with Kate Upton,” he said. “I have never touched her inappropriately. Nor would I ever refer to a Guess model in such a derogatory manner. I fully support the #metoo movement. At the same time, I will not allow others to defame me and tarnish my reputation. I have pledged to Guess and its Board of Directors my full support and cooperation with a fair and impartial investigation.”