Guess Co-Founder Resigns After Sexual Harassment Investigations, Accusers Include Model Kate Upton

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Paul Marciano has officially resigned from his post at Guess, effective at the end of his contract in January. As a co-founder, he was instrumental in building the fashion icon, but it appears to be all for naught as his legacy is marred by sexual harassment allegations. Back in February, Marciano relinquished his duties as executive chairman of the board and chief creative officer. It was around this time that Guess launched an internal investigation, according to Inquisitr.

Now, the investigation has wrapped up and resulted in Marciano’s resignation. The company apparently could not corroborate claims of inappropriate comments, texts, and unwanted advances, according to Reuters. However, Guess said that “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.”

So far, Marciano has reportedly reached settlements with five of the accusers for a total around $500,000. None of the five people who received settlements are named.

On the other hand, supermodel Kate Upton went public with her accusations against Marciano. Upton recounted an incident with the co-founder, during which Marciano tried to kiss her, visit her hotel room, and grabbed a breast. Upton was 18-years-old, newly embarking on a modeling career.

“Paul Marciano said he wanted to meet with me… 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.'”

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represented four of the five women who received settlements, said that the victims “detailed for Guess lawyers their sexual assault stories,” detailed USA Today.

The investigation was completed by a special committee of the company’s board with two independent directors, along with a law firm, reported Time.

Just recently on June 7, reports revealed that Marciano was back on the job. A video showed him discussing the design of a bag. At the time, the results of the investigation had yet to be released.

When Marciano was placed on unpaid leave, new victims came forward to discuss their accounts of sexual harassment. Model Angie Christina said that Marciano asked if her “breasts were real,” after which he “reached out and squeezed them,” according to The Blast. Another woman, Jane Doe, recounted a similar incident, during which Marciano grabbed her breasts during a meeting about a modeling job.