Absolutely terrifying. Kate Upton is alleging that Guess co-founder Paul Marciano inappropriately touched her when she was just 18. Here’s all the details.
On Jan. 31, Kate Upton, 25, vaguely alleged on Instagram and Twitter that Guess co-founder Paul Marciano, 66, had sexually harassed women in the past. Now, the stunning supermodel sat down for an interview with Time magazine in which she alleged the fashion mogul had sexually assaulted her when she was first starting out in the industry. “After the first day of shooting the Guess Lingerie campaign [on July 25, 2010], Paul Marciano said he wanted to meet with me,” she told the publication. “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.'”
But Kate alleges that that wasn’t the end of the frightening interactions with Marciano. As the meeting continued, so did his aggressive advances. “At one point he forcibly grabbed the back of my head so that I could not move and started kissing my face and my neck,” she added. “I remember not wanting to say ‘Get off of me‘ because I didn’t want to open my mouth to say anything because I didn’t want him to be able to put his tongue in my mouth. I had two options: do everything I could to wiggle away and avoid his pursuit, or punch the CEO of Guess. So I decided to just wiggle away.”
The blonde bombshell said that after this shocking first meeting, she was more on guard a month later when she arrived in town for her next Guess shoot. And yet, in no time Marciano was trying to talk his way up into her hotel room. “He continued to insist. He said he was already in the hotel lobby,” Kate claimed. “He even called my room from the hotel lobby desk. After several denials, I just turned off my phone and locked the door and tried to get some sleep. I was terrified. All I could think was if he was able to get into my room it would not be good.” Head here to look back at Guess girls over the years.
And if this alleged behavior wasn’t disturbing enough, when she awoke the following day, Kate discovered that she lost the coveted job. “The next day, I learned that I had been fired from the shoot. Someone had called my agency to say I had gotten fat and would not be needed on set [that day]. I was devastated, especially because at this point no one from Guess had even seen me.”
Even after this episode, Kate alleges Paul pursued her but photographers like Yu Tsai and Ellen von Unwerth worked to protect her as often as possible. Finally in 2011, she was fired yet again from a Guess shoot when Marciano had reportedly said, “Get that fat pig off my set.”
Kate shared that, like many, the time has come to call out this alleged behavior and put a stop to it. “I’m sick of 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. I’m sick of being expected to endure all of this while being polite and professional through it all. Paul used his power to make me feel insecure and powerless, but I’m not going to let him intimidate me anymore. These men think they are untouchable, but times are changing.”
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