Paul Marciano resigns from Guess following Kate Upton's allegations of sexual misconduct
Marciano reached settlements with five of the women making the allegations which amounted to an astounding $500,000
Paul Marciano, the co-founder of Guess Inc, has officially resigned from his position after an investigation was launched in response to allegations of misconduct that were made against him.
Marciano was the executive chairman of the giant clothing brand whose net worth is estimated at a whopping $2.2 billion. The situation was brought to light after model and entrepreneur Kate Upton accused Marciano of misusing his power and authority to harass many women, reported USA Today.
Marciano joins the long list of disgraced men in the entertainment and fashion industry who have misused their power. The accusation sits on the shoulders of the popular #MeToo movement which aims to expose these devious men in power who have allegedly sexually harassed women and manipulated them.
Guess Inc issued a public statement which claims that none of the accusations which include inappropriate text messages, advances, and comments could be proven. The investigation concluded that Marciano has been making poor choices and decisions in the way he approaches female models and photographers.
Guess' statement said that the allegations include, "inappropriate comments and texts and unwanted advances including kissing and groping." The investigation also found that Marciano did indeed "place himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise."
The statement also revealed that Marciano reached settlements with five of the women making the allegations which amounted to an astounding $500,000. None of the women who received the settlements have been named but supermodel Kate Upton was one of the women who decided to make the allegations public.
She revealed that it was during a 2010 Guess lingerie photo session that Marciano aggressively kissed her and also repeatedly attempted to see her in her hotel room. She also recalled him trying to grope her and grabbing on to her breasts.
In an interview with Time, Upton revealed, "After I pushed him away, he said, 'I’m making sure they’re real." She also recalled how she was 18 at the time of the horrific incident and was on her first modeling assignment. Attorney Lisa Bloom, who said that she represents four out of the five women, noted Marciano's resignation in a tweet. Bloom added that she was "delighted this day has arrived".
Since then, Paul Marciano's brother, Maurice Marciano has been appointed as the executive chairman. Despite the fact that Paul has resigned as an executive, he will be able to remain on the board. It is believed that Marciano's resignation was voluntary and he had made plans to step down from the company's board at the end of his contract on Jan 30.
The incident has been brought to light given the #MeToo movement and how much popularity the movement had gained. The movement had been around for years but gained international attention after the sexual harassment allegations that were made against disgraced film mogul, Harvey Weinstein who was accused of sexual misconduct by around 80 women.
Harvey Weinstein, who is facing multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct, pleaded not guilty during his arraignment in New York. Since his arrest on May 25, this was the first court hearing where Weinstein sat through a formal reading of all the charges that were made against him.
Many famous actresses such as Kate Beckinsale, Cara Delevingne, Heather Graham, Salma Hayek, Lena Heady, Angelina Jolie, Ashley Judd, Minka Kelly, Rose McGowan, Lupita Nyong’o, Gwenyth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino are among the many brave women who have come forward with the accusations.
With the number of stories and incidents coming to light about misconduct in the Hollywood industry, the largest US actors union SAG-AFTRA, along with four major television networks: ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox, has agreed to limit auditions in private hotel rooms and spaces and end the 'casting couch' process entirely.
As reported by Variety, the union's president, Gabrielle Carteris said that their goal was to try and eliminate the potential for "predators to exploit performers behind closed doors under the guise of a professional meeting." She also went on to add, that the new guideline is a "partial realization of our work toward industry culture change."
Carteris continued, "To truly change the culture, we must be courageous and willing. At its most basic, this Code will ultimately help better define what harassment is, and what members' rights are in real-world situations. We are going further, however, with the launch of our Four Pillars of Change initiative to achieve safe workplaces and advance equity."
"This initiative gives members a clear understanding of their workplace rights and provides reliable guidance for members to navigate the unique environments of the entertainment, music and media industries," she added.