Paul Marciano Steps Down from Guess Inc. for Sexual Harassment Accusations

Paul Marciano, co-founder of Guess Inc., steps down from his position after an investigation goes through the company for allegations of sexual harassment and assault. The filing stated:

“The investigation found that on certain occasions (Paul) Marciano exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers and in placing himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise,” the filing said.”


This is not the first time Marciano was in the news for sexual harassment misconduct. Early in 2018, Kate Upton, a fashion model, accused Marciano of grabbing her breasts during a photo shoot through the company eight years ago. She also adds the accounts where he would appear at her hotels and text her inappropriately in a TIME interview. Because of the interview and the influence of the #MeToo movement, a law firm and a committee for Guess conducted an investigation to find reports of improper behavior. 

Attorney Lisa Bloom, representing four out of the five accusers, said, “We do not believe a man with so many credible accusations of sexual assault is fit to lead any company, much less one that sells primarily to women.” Guess Inc. settled lawsuits with $500,000. And while Marciano stepping down from his title is a win for them, they wish that he would completely remove from the company. 

Marciano will remain on the board until his contract expires in January. He will not collect the salary during the period he had stepped out for the investigation. However, he’ll still be paid for the remaining duration of his work. Even after his leave, Marciano will own a small percentage of Guess Inc. Maurice Marciano, his brother the other co-founder  will take over his resigned position.

Early in the year, after hearing Upton’s accusations, Marciano 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.”


The Guess representative did not comment on the matter. The end result of the investigation and accusation did not work out in Marciano’s favor— and rightfully so. There have been sexual harassment lawsuits in politics and the entertainment world, yet very few in the modeling industry. This year, New York introduced a bill to protect the rights of models, of both genders, and prevent sexual harassment. The bill proposes new tools, a model management policy and a training program, in hope of reducing sexual harassment cases.

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