Rabat - Moroccan-born fashion designer Paul Marciano has been accused of sexual harassment and abusive behavior by supermodel Kate Upton.
Rabat – Moroccan-born fashion designer Paul Marciano has been accused of sexual harassment and abusive behavior by supermodel Kate Upton.
Inspired by the #metoo movement, the 25-year-old model called out the co-founder of Guess on social media late in January.
She wrote, “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @Guess is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo,”
“He shouldn’t be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women #metoo,” she captioned the Instagram post.
Marciano has denied all sexual harassment claims.
The model received massive support from her fans. The post, “liked” over 60 thousand times, prompted other women to speak out against Marciano.
“I worked for him for only 5 months because it was an intolerable work situation. He used his power to pressure women I worked with and it was…disgusting. Thank you @kateupton for this,” Yolanda Edwards, creative director of Condé Nast Traveler and Brides, commented.
Aside from speaking out on social media, Upton did not provide more elaborate details on the allegations until Time published an interview with her on Wednesday, in which she claims that Marcianosexually harassed her at the beginning of her career, when she was 18.
She told the Time that “after the first day of shooting the Guess Lingerie campaign on July 25, 2010, Marciano said he wanted to meet with me.” During this meeting, Marciano “forcibly grabbed my breasts and started feeling them — playing with them actually,”
She explained that she pushed him. “He said, ‘I’m making sure they’re real.’”
“He continued to touch me in a very dominating and aggressive way, grabbing my thighs, my arms to pull me closer, my shoulders to pull me closer, my neck, my breasts, and smelling me,” the model said, explaining that photographer Yu Tsai was present during the meeting but that didn’t stop Marcelo from sexually harassing her. He then attempted to kiss her.
“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. 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,” she told Time.
But the 65 year old businessman continued pursuing her, she said. She rejected all of his maneuvers, and Tsai offered to walk her to her hotel.
A month later, during another shoot with Guess, Marcelo began pressuring the model to see him. “As soon as I went up to my hotel room, Paul started calling me asking to come up and see how my room is. I politely declined several times.”
The next day she learned that she was fired. “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.”
When she was selected for Guess advertising campaigns again, Marciano’s text messages became more aggressive. “All the language he used was extremely dominant and possessive.” Tsai, who was helping her avoid encounters with Marcelo was fired from Guess soon after. Upton began working with another photographer, Ellen von Unwerth, who also helped her avoid one-on one encounters with Marciano.
Having seen that there was no way to reach the model, as she constantly refused him, Marciano allegedly humiliated her before firing her. “I had a final shoot [in May of 2011], and he was outwardly rude and degrading the entire time. He said I was “disgusting” and started telling people how unprofessional I was by spreading rumors that I was drunk on set and partying every night, which of course I wasn’t. I was then told to leave because Paul said, “Get that fat pig off my set.”
Speaking to Time, Marciano said that Upton’s accusations are “absolutely false” and “preposterous.” “I have never been alone with Kate Upton,” he continued. “I have never touched her inappropriately. Nor would I ever refer to a Guess model in such a derogatory manner.”