Guess co-founder steps aside amid Kate Upton allegations
Guess co-founder Paul Marciano has stepped down from the company amid accusations that he once groped supermodel Kate Upton.
Marciano has agreed to “relinquish his day to day responsibilities at the company, on an unpaid basis,” as the allegations are being investigated, Guess said in a press release on Tuesday.
“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 the press release.
The company said in the release that Marciano has denied the accusation.
Marciano is the chief creative officer and a board member who co-founded Guess in 1981.
The share price for Guess dropped about 4% on Tuesday.
The stock price has dropped more than 20% since Upton posted a tweet on January 31 with the #metoo hashtag often used by victims of sexual harassment.
“It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @Guess is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo,” she tweeted.
Upton followed up the tweet with a Time magazine interview, published online on February 7, in which she said that Marciano groped her after a photo shoot in 2010.
“Paul came straight up to me, forcibly grabbed my breasts and started feeling them — playing with them actually.,” she told the magazine. “After I pushed him away, he said. ‘I’m making sure they’re real.'”
Marciano has told CNN, “These accusations are absolutely false.”
Guess said the board of directors formed a special committee on February 7 to investigate “recent allegations of improper conduct” by Marciano.
Neither Marciano nor Upton was immediately available for comment.