The insurance firm that underwrites luxury fashion brand Guess and its co-founder Paul Marciano does not want to be held liable for a high-profile sexual assault lawsuit against the mogul, suing both parties last week.
Beazley Insurance Company, Inc. filed the suit on Dec. 28 in California, requesting a jury trial and declaring it should not be responsible for covering any policy claims from Guess related to the 2021 complaint against scandal-plagued Marciano, given that the executive has an alleged “pattern” of “wrongful acts.”
“Beazley seeks a declaration that it has no obligation under the Policy to defend or indemnify Guess or Marciano (jointly, the “Insureds”) in connection with a January 2021 lawsuit by Jane Doe alleging sexual misconduct by Marciano,” the Connecticut-based firm wrote, “because the Doe Lawsuit, a series of similar claims made in 2018, and a 2009 lawsuit filed against the Insureds… involve ‘Interrelated Wrongful Acts.’” Such acts, the insurer wrote, are identified in its policy as those “which have as a common nexus any fact, circumstance, situation, event, transaction, [or] cause.”
In addition to the most recent complaint from January 2021, in which a former model pseudonymously identified as Jane Doe alleged Marciano sexually assaulted her, the insurer cited ex-model Lindsey Ring's 2009 harassment lawsuit as well as a series of misconduct claims from 2018 (which led to $500,000 in settlements and Marciano’s resignation as CEO before quietly returning as chief creative officer) to demonstrate the Guess mogul’s “pattern.”
All three complaints share the “common nexus” of “Marciano’s pattern of sexually harassing and assaulting current or aspiring Guess employees or models using his position of power within the company and fashion industry,” Beazley declared in the lawsuit. As such, the firm said, it should not be required to cover insurance claims related to Doe’s 2021 complaint.
Lisa Bloom, who represents multiple Marciano accusers including Doe, told The Daily Beast this week, “This development means that Guess’ own insurance company seeks to distance itself from Guess, in light of the many women, past and present, who have accused Paul Marciano of sexual assault. I am proud to represent three women currently standing up against Marciano and Guess in sexual harassment and assault cases. Whether the defendants have insurance or not is of no concern to us. Our cases are about all models’ rights to a respectful workplace."
Neither Beazley nor Guess responded to requests for comment on this story.
Since The Daily Beast first reported on Doe’s lawsuit last year, several other women have come forward to accuse Marciano of sexual misconduct: Guess model Gwen Van Meir alleged that the fashion mogul sexually harassed her on a set last year. And a former employee of the mogul’s family store in Los Angeles came forward with the claim that the Guess founder forced her to perform oral sex on him in 1983. And late last year, a separate “Jane Doe” filed a lawsuit against Marciano claiming he forced her to have unprotected sex with him.