Guess co-founder denies sexual harassment claims after models file lawsuit | Fashion

Guess co-founder Paul Marciano called the allegations about his alleged sexual harassment “fabricated”, “false” and an attempt to “extract large sums of money”.

Three former models at the fashion label who claimed they were victims of sexually inappropriate behavior by Marciano have filed a lawsuit against Guess accusing him of aiding and abetting his alleged harassment. In the lawsuit – which sees individual board members but not Marciano being prosecuted – two of the alleged victims, Amanda Rodriguez and a woman known only as “Gwen”, claim that although Guess knows about 12 allegations of sexual misconduct against Marciano, the board of directors voted to keep him at the company. According to the lawsuit, they also decided to return her to her day-to-day role, which included “unfettered access” to female models. Guess also reportedly gave him a bonus of $3.1 million. Marciano is currently the creative director of the fashion brand.

Marciano has repeatedly denied the allegations against him, calling the latest charges, which include fondling the breasts of one of the models named, “untrue.” Marciano then suggested that the model’s law firm, The Bloom Firm, run by Lisa Bloom, had a plan to get her. “I know for a fact that The Bloom Firm fabricated false allegations of alleged rape on me and others to extract large sums of money,” he said in a statement, reported by Women’s Wear Daily. Marciano called Bloom an “unethical lawyer” who loved “media attention.”

Bloom previously called Guess “the worst company I’ve ever seen.” She added that she doesn’t know of “any other company that has about this number of serious sexual harassment allegations…against a prominent executive” and yet “continues to employ him”.

In 2018, model Kate Upton detailed the abuse she allegedly suffered at the hands of Marciano for Time magazine, claiming she was groped and aggressively chased by him. He later called his claims “absurd”. After these initial accusations, Marciano retired from the company and relinquished his title as executive chairman.

In a statement, the accuser known as Gwen said: ‘Models deserve to work in a safe environment where they are not subjected to unwanted sexual contact. They should be able to speak up when their safety is threatened without having to end their career with the company.

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