Following Kate Upton’s allegation on Twitter and Instagram that Paul Marciano, a founder of Guess Jeans, was using “his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women,” website The Blast has published an account by an anonymous female model who alleges she had her breast grabbed when she met with Marciano at the fashion giant’s headquarters in Los Angeles in March 2016.
The Blast reports it has been sitting on the story since November of last year, because the woman did not want to be the first to accuse Marciano. However, following Upton’s call-out on Twitter, she is said to have given her blessing to the celebrity news site to publish. Upton tagged her post #MeToo.
Having allegedly said that he liked women with “big boobs,” Marciano asked the woman, who The Blast dubbed Jane Doe, to try on some looks—and took her on a golf-cart ride to another building on the Guess campus to facilitate that.
The anonymous model alleges that as she changed, Marciano opened a protective curtain, watched her undress, and began making comments about her body.
When she said she had lost weight, Marciano allegedly “reached over and pulled [her] breast out of the dress,” and is purported to have said: “At least you still have your boobs.”
The model alleges that Marciano tried to forcibly kiss her, and she pushed him away.
However, she said she continued interacting with Marciano on social media after the alleged incident in the hope of landing a modeling gig.
In one exchange obtained by The Blast, Marciano allegedly told her he wanted to “talk to” her breasts.
After Marciano allegedly asked for “boob shots,” Doe messaged, “The last time I saw you you grabbed my boobs when I was changing and I thought you only wanted to bring me there for sex rather than working with me.”
According to The Blast, Marciano replied, “Absolutely not,” and wrote, “You showed me your boobs to tell me that you didn’t lose any weight.”
This was the last time they interacted.
The Blast report states Paul Marciano has denied all allegations made by Jane Doe.
The website also unearthed a 2009 lawsuit filed by a woman named Lindsey Ring, who claimed she was sexually assaulted by Marciano while working for Guess as a model.
The filing, as reported by The Blast, states: “[Marciano] began to create a hostile work environment for Ms. Ring by making sexual comments to her, repeatedly touching her inappropriately and without her consent, and attempting on at least two occasions to fondle her sexually after taking her to a private area at the worksite, all of which was offensive to Ms. Ring and would have been offensive to any reasonable person.”
The suit alleged Marciano “would run his hand up and down her breasts and her buttocks, telling her how nice it felt and commenting on the fit. He would also lean close to her and whisper that he wanted to ‘take her right there,’ that he was upset she was married, that she was beautiful and that he wanted to kiss her.”
Ring filed her claim with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing. The case was closed after Ring, Marciano, and Guess reached a confidential settlement, The Blast reports.
The company conducted an external investigation into the matter, but ruled there was no “evidence to substantiate Ring’s claims of harassment or hostile work environment,” The Blast reports.
Guess gave the following statement to The Blast: “Upon being contacted in November by The Blast, the company immediately investigated with the assistance of outside counsel separate allegations that Mr. Marciano had acted inappropriately with two women. The investigation determined the following: One allegation was taken from a publicly available lawsuit that was filed in 2009. Mr. Marciano denied the allegation at that time, and a contemporaneous investigation conducted in 2009 by the company and outside counsel did not corroborate the plaintiff’s claims.
“The second allegation concerns an aspiring model who is quoted anonymously in the story claiming inappropriate conduct in March 2016. Mr. Marciano also denies this allegation.
“To date, the current investigation has not corroborated either allegation, and the board of directors has been unable to determine that either accusation has merit.”