‘I Was Sexually Assaulted’ in 1983 by Fashion Mogul Paul Marciano
After seeing The Daily Beast’s reporting on multiple allegations against the Guess exec, Eileen Toal came forward for the first time to allege he sexually assaulted her years ago.
Warning: This article contains graphic descriptions of sexual assault.
Guess co-founder Paul Marciano now faces a bevy of sexual-misconduct accusations, including a lawsuit claiming he assaulted a former model early last year. None of this has been surprising to Eileen Toal, who is coming forward for the first time to allege the fashion mogul sexually assaulted her in 1983, when she was just 18 years old.
Marciano is currently embroiled in a high-profile lawsuit filed in January by a former Guess model, anonymously identified as “Jane Doe,” who claimed he forced her to perform oral sex on him in February 2020. Marciano and Guess denied the claims.
After reading The Daily Beast’s coverage of the saga—which now includes allegations that Guess and Marciano are trying to “silence” the ex-model—and noticing some similarities to her own experience, Toal said she decided it was time to go public with her own story. “I saw [the news] about this new accuser,” she said, “and I thought, ‘Oh my god, how is this man still sexually assaulting women?’ It’s shocking.”
Marciano and Guess did not respond to requests for comment on Toal’s allegations.
Toal said she met Maurice Marciano, Paul’s older brother, while shopping at the family’s clothing boutique, MGA (acronym for Marciano brothers Maurice, Georges, and Armand), which was then located in Beverly Hills, just off Rodeo Drive. Maurice, who was in his thirties at the time, asked Toal out on a date and then offered her a job at the store. Toal accepted both, and began seeing Maurice at least once a week, she recalled.
“I started [work] just after I turned 18 years old. Maurice and I saw Flashdance about mid-April of 1983. My birthday is March 28. I had just turned 18,” Toal recounted. She worked at MGA for roughly five months while Maurice worked at the Guess offices downtown. A photo provided to The Daily Beast shows Toal in 1983, wearing an all-white Guess outfit she said Maurice gifted her.
In September of that year, Toal said, she stayed at Maurice’s house overnight and left her car. The elder Marciano brother arranged for Paul, the future Guess CEO, to pick her up after work and bring her back to Maurice’s house to retrieve her car.
When Paul arrived to give her a lift, Toal said, “he assaulted me in his car in the parking lot behind the store.”
She recalled the alleged incident in harrowing detail: “We’re leaving the store and getting into his car, a red Ferrari, a Ferrari 308, in the back parking lot. I think he’s reaching for his keys and he was actually unzipping his pants and he was fully erect at that time. I turned my head towards the dashboard of the car. He is pushing my face, rubbing it up and down, and I kept saying, ‘You’re supposed to be taking me to your brother’s.’”
Toal continued: “It was less than a minute and he had his forearm on my head as I was trying to get out and he ejaculated. He ejaculated on my hair, and behind him in the car there was a hand towel—like it was all planned. He gave me a hand towel to wipe myself off. I said nothing.”
Toal said she can recall small details—38 years later—from the incident, including the music that played in the car as Paul drove her to her car after allegedly assaulting her. “You know what really sticks in my head?” she said. “The song ‘Allegria’ by the Gipsy Kings. It was playing as we drove back to Maurice’s. It’s like a soundtrack to a bad movie. To this day, I still cringe if I hear the Gipsy Kings.”
Upon arriving at Maurice’s house, Toal said, she informed her boyfriend what happened. The elder Marciano brother was dismissive.
“I went into Maurice’s house and told Maurice, and he said, ‘That’s just Paul.’ Maurice shook it off. I was like, ‘Are you serious? Are you kidding me?’ He shrugged his shoulders and shook his head as if there’s nothing he could do about it, like he was resigned about it like that’s just Paul.
“I was so disgusted. I got in my car. I never answered calls from Maurice. I never went back to work.”
Maurice Marciano did not respond to requests for comment on this story.
Toal said she never told anyone else of the alleged assault at the time except for a friend with whom she’s long since fell out of contact (The Daily Beast was unable to get in contact with the woman), and her own mother, Betty Toal, who corroborated that her daughter told her of the alleged incident in 1983.
“I didn’t tell anyone at that time because I was humiliated and embarrassed. This guy basically jerked off in my hair. I was 18 and grossed out… I mentioned to my mom I was sexually assaulted.” Toal continued, “I told my mom I feel really shitty and bad about myself, and I began drinking to cope. My mom was really understanding. It had a big psychological twist of how men thought of women: Are we just some sort of sexual object and we don’t deserve any kind of respect? I held it in because I was so ashamed.”
Toal’s mother confirmed to The Daily Beast that after the incident, her daughter called her and said she’d been sexually assaulted. “She was very upset. Her father and I drove to West Los Angeles and picked her up,” Betty Toal said. “I have no doubt it happened to her. This man needs to be stopped. He’s in a position where he can get away with it. My daughter was not a model. I’m sure as long as this man is allowed to roam, he will hurt other women.”
Years after the alleged assault, but prior to Jane Doe’s lawsuit against Marciano, Toal confided in another friend, Barbara Boungard, about her alleged assault. Boungard corroborated to The Daily Beast that Toal told her of the incident in detail over a dinner in June of last year. “Think how many other victims are out there if he’s been doing this all of these years,” she added. “This guy needs to be controlled. Maybe he’ll think twice before he gets rapey again.”
While Toal cannot press charges against Marciano, due to the statute of limitations in the state of California, she filed a police report with the Beverly Hills Police Department earlier this month. A department spokesperson confirmed to The Daily Beast that the complaint was filed but could not comment further due to it being an open investigation.
Toal is the latest woman to accuse the Guess mogul of sexual harassment or assault over the past few decades. In June 2018, Marciano resigned as CEO after Guess paid $500,000 worth of settlements to four women who’d accused him of misconduct and famed supermodel Kate Upton publicly claimed he groped and forcibly kissed her when she was 18 years old. A decade prior, a former Guess model sued Marciano alleging forced kissing and touching—a complaint that was dismissed, possibly because of an out-of-court settlement, The New York Times reported.
Marciano has denied all allegations against him and, less than a year after he stepped down, Guess quietly reinstated him in January 2019 as a chief creative officer, despite an internal probe concluding he had exercised “poor judgment” and put “himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise.”
Earlier this year, the former model anonymously identified in court as Jane Doe sued Guess and Marciano, claiming he enticed her to an empty apartment in February 2020 on the promise of career advancement but instead used the opportunity to force her to perform oral sex on him.
Doe further alleged that “Guess prioritizes profits over the safety of its models.” By bringing Paul Marciano back to work, she said, the clothing brand enabled his misconduct.
“I am truly, deeply sickened that the sexual assault allegations against Paul Marciano go back so many decades. Guess has never revealed how many women have complained about him, but we know it’s in the double digits,” Doe’s attorney, Lisa Bloom, said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “When will this brand which claims to be about women’s empowerment stand with women? I will keep fighting for my clients until we get the justice that is long overdue.”
Similarly, Marciano’s associates enabling his behavior goes back decades, Toal alleged. “I think by Maurice’s reaction when it happened to me, they have enabled it. He’s just a sexual predator. Instead of getting him help, they’re like, ‘Oh well, what are you going to do? That’s just Paul the predator.’”
And so Toal, now a California-based real-estate professional with two daughters, said she decided to come forward in the hopes that by demonstrating Marciano’s alleged “predatory” behavior goes back at least four decades she can prevent further abuse.
“I keep thinking how predatory men can be towards young women. I told my daughter when she was a teenager... don’t be alone in a car with someone you don’t know or trust and you have to be able to protect yourself,” she said. “I’m sure that’s why there’s not 500 women who have not said anything about Paul over the last 40 years because they’re embarrassed. He is a repeat offender and he is preying on young, vulnerable women who don’t have that mindset or courage to handle these situations.
“There must be a gaggle of women who have not come forward that are employees that worked there,” Toal added. “I don’t have a horse in this race. I don’t want a dime from their dirty money… There’s nothing in this for me other than letting people know this has been going on for a very long time. I do want other women to be protected from him.”