Guess Chairman Paul Marciano is officially stepping down from his day-to-day duties at the fashion brand, the Los Angeles Times reports. The decision comes after multiple reports of sexual harassment from several women, including model Kate Upton.
In the wake of these accusations, the board decided he should step away from the business without pay until there can be a thorough investigation. A special board with two independent directors have been appointed to look into the matter.
“I have pledged my full cooperation to the company, and I have the utmost confidence in our CEO, Victor Herrero, to continue leading the company during this time,” Marciano said in a statement.
In late January, Upton took to Twitter to share her #metoo story. “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo,” Upton tweeted, quickly followed up with an Instagram captioned: “He shouldn’t be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women #metoo.”
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RELATED: Kate Upton Details Alleged Sexual Harassment by Paul Marciano
She followed up her social media allegations by speaking with Time about her story. “After the first day of shooting the Guess Lingerie campaign [on July 25, 2010], 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,” Upton told TIME’s Eliana Dockterman of her first meeting with Marciano.
“After I pushed him away, he said, ‘I’m making sure they’re real.’” Marciano denied the model’s account to Time, saying Upton’s accusations were “absolutely false.”
“I have never been alone with Kate Upton,” he said. “I have never touched her inappropriately. Nor would I ever refer to a Guess model in such a derogatory manner.”