Guess Inc. introduced Tuesday that its co-founder Paul Marciano is stepping down after the completion of a company-commissioned investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
The Los Angeles-based trend firm revealed in a submitting with the Securities and Alternate Fee that Marciano is resigning instantly as government chairman of the Guess board, and his brother Maurice Marciano, one other firm co-founder, will take over.
“The investigation discovered that on sure events (Paul) Marciano exercised poor judgment in his communications with fashions and photographers and in putting himself in conditions through which believable allegations of improper conduct might, and did, come up,” the submitting mentioned.
Paul Marciano, who has denied the allegations, will stay a board member and keep on as chief inventive officer till his contract expires on the finish of January. He had stepped apart from his day-to-day duties when the investigation started in February. He’ll forfeit his wage for the interval he sat out, however might be paid from June till January. He additionally owns a 17 p.c stake in Guess Inc.
The allegations first turned public when mannequin Kate Upton mentioned in a Time journal interview that Paul Marciano grabbed her breasts throughout a Guess photograph shoot almost eight years in the past. She additionally says that he harassed her by exhibiting up at inns the place she was staying and texting her inappropriate feedback.
“It is disappointing that such an iconic girls’s model @GUESS continues to be empowering Paul Marciano as their inventive director #MeToo,” Upton tweeted on the time.
Quickly after a particular committee of the Guess board and an out of doors regulation agency launched an investigation, which appeared into a number of stories of inappropriate feedback and texts together with undesirable kissing and groping.
“Lots of the allegations couldn’t be corroborated. In some circumstances, no conclusion might be reached as a result of the people both declined to be interviewed or offered inadequate data to the investigators,” Tuesday’s submitting mentioned. “In different circumstances, the investigation discovered that credible accounts got by each side.”
4 brothers, together with unique designer George Marciano, in 1981 based the model whose denim turned a phenomenon within the 1980s and 1990s.
Paul Marciano dealt with the corporate’s promoting, greatest recognized for its black-and-white photographs of fashions together with Anna Nicole Smith.
Resignations like his within the trend trade have been far rarer than in films and different media within the wave of sexual misconduct revelations spurred by tales on Harvey Weinstein in October.
The corporate additionally mentioned it has settled lawsuits with 5 of Paul Marciano’s accusers for a complete of $500,000.
Lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represents 4 of these girls, mentioned in an announcement that they’re happy together with his stepping down as board chair however disenchanted he’ll keep on in different capacities.
“We don’t imagine a person with so many credible accusations of sexual assault is match to guide any firm,” Bloom mentioned, “a lot much less one which sells primarily to girls.”
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