Guess Chairman Resigns After Sexual Assault Allegations But Remains on Board

Guess co-founder Paul Marciano is resigning from his position as chairman but will remain part of the board, is staying on the creative team and denies the accusations against him. An investigation by the company appears to deflect blame off the groper, as it said Marciano “exercised poor judgment.”

Leadership tells a story here. The company’s top leadership consists entirely of men. One woman serves on the board and as an independent director.

Marciano allegedly made “inappropriate comments and texts and unwanted advances including kissing and groping,” Guess stated.

Marciano will stay with the company until his contract ends in January. It is not known how much his contract is for.

According to reports, though, Marciano and Guess paid settlements totaling at least half a million dollars with five women who accused Marciano of misconduct. Apparently the company is willing to pay for problems to go away.

Lisa Bloom, an attorney for four of the five women who reached settlements with the company, wrote on Twitter that she is delighted Marciano is stepping down but very disappointed that it’s not happening sooner.

The company was founded by Marciano and his three brothers, one of whom Maurice Marciano serves as chairman-emeritus. Maurice Marciano will take over his brother’s duties upon his exit.

Model Kate Upton sparked the investigation into Marciano when she tweeted in January, It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo.”

In an interview with Time, Upton recalled arriving on set for a photo shoot her very first day and said Marciano immediately attacked her.

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. After I pushed him away, he said, ‘I’m making sure they’re real,'” Upton recalled.

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