Last week, in a new development in the ongoing torrent of sexual harassment allegations now emerging, model Kate Upton accused Guess co-founder Paul Marciano of harassment against multiple women. On Twitter, Upton wrote that it was “disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo.”
In an interview with TIME Wednesday, Upton claimed that she herself had been sexually assaulted by Marciano in July 2010, when she was 18 years old. The accusations were strongly rebuffed by Marciano, according to the TIME report, with Marciano insisting he had “never been alone with Kate Upton,” and that he had “never touched her inappropriately. Nor would I ever refer to a Guess model in such a derogatory manner.”
Galiano also claimed to “fully support” the #metoo movement, a hashtag which emerged on social media in the wake of sexual harassment allegations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. The accusations of decades-long abuse against women by Weinstein prompted many more to come forward with their own experiences of sexual harassment, effectively ending the careers of actors and performers such as Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey, both accused of harassment and abuse.
In his statement to TIME, Galiano reportedly defended himself, saying he would “not allow others to defame me and tarnish my reputation. I have pledged to Guess and its Board of Directors my full support and cooperation with a fair and impartial investigation.”
Upton, for her part, said she was tired of remaining passive in the face of ongoing abuse, “being silenced and expected to sweep everything under the rug.”
“I’m sick of being expected to laugh off these aggressive advances and accept the power imbalances that exist,” she told TIME. “I’m sick of being expected to endure all of this while being polite and professional through it all.”
By: Menachem Rephun