Guess Inc. co-founder steps down amid sexual assault allegations

Guess Inc. co-founder steps down amid sexual assault allegations

Fashion designer and co-founder of Guess Inc Paul Marciano.

Marciano's resignation was reportedly voluntary.

Guess co-founder Paul Marciano has resigned from his post as executive chairman in the company following sexual harassment allegations.

Upton's allegations were corroborated by photographer Yu Tsai.

The allegations levelled against Marciano, who remains as chief creative officer of Guess, first came to light back in February when United States model Kate Upton tweeted that it was "disappointing" Guess was still "empowering" him as its creative director.

Numerous other allegations against Marciano could not be confirmed because the accusers either declined to be interviewed or provided insufficient information to investigators, Guess said.

An internal investigation was launched by the company in February, with Guess heads forming a special committee to conduct a formal review into the matter, but The Layover actress is convinced the inquiry is bogus, suggesting bosses were just doing it to save face.

The Los Angeles-based fashion company revealed in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that Marciano is resigning immediately as executive chairman of the Guess board, and his brother Maurice Marciano, another company co-founder, will take over.

The filing says allegations against Paul Marciano included inappropriate comments and texts and unwanted kissing and groping.

His salary was forfeited from February 20 to June 11. Upton also reiterated allegations to "GMA" that Marciano fondled her breasts during her first photo shoot for the brand in 2010 when she was 18 and continued to behave inappropriately toward her in professional settings for a few months after.

The decision came after a unanimous vote by the board, from which Marciano and his brother Maurice recused themselves. In some cases, no conclusion could be reached because the individuals either declined to be interviewed or provided insufficient information to the investigators. He also owns a 17 percent stake in Guess Inc. "In other cases, the investigation found that credible accounts were given by both sides".

Although none of those receiving settlements were named in the company's filing, supermodel Kate Upton was one of those who went public with allegations against Marciano.

Marciano has denied the allegations, but he still chose to leave the company, as revealed in a Guess company 8-K form with the SEC, a required announcement to major shareholders.

Attorney Lisa Bloom, who represents four of those women, said in a statement that they are pleased with his stepping down as board chair but disappointed he'll stay on in other capacities.

Guess said: "Many of the allegations could not be corroborated".

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