Paul Marciano, the creative director and co-founder of Guess, resigned on Tuesday after an investigation into his alleged abuse of models led to settlements totalling $500,000 with five of his accusers. In a corporate filing, Guess said that Marciano “exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers” and that while some of the accusations against him were unconfirmed by investigators, others were found to be “credible accounts.”
While none of the women who settled with Marciano and Guess were named in the filing, the company said that none of the victims had been made to sign non-disclosure agreements — allowing the women to come forward with their stories of harassment and assault if they so choose. While Marciano has resigned from Guess, the company said that he would nonetheless continue to be paid and remain on the label’s board until January of next year. Lisa Bloom, an attorney representing four of the five women to reach settlements with Guess, wrote in a Tweet that she was “delighted this day has arrived.”
News of Marciano’s abuse of women first broke on January 31, when supermodel Kate Upton named him as her abuser in a #MeToo post. In a subsequent interview with TIME magazine, Upton revealed that Marciano had groped her and forcibly kissed her face and neck when she was 18 and doing her professional modeling campaign — recalling that he had justified his grabbing of her breasts by saying he just wanted to “[make] sure they’re real.” At the time of Upton’s allegations, Marciano had denied her claims as “absolutely false” and “preposterous.”
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