Kate Upton Accuses Guess Co-Founder of Sexual Assault
On Jan. 31, Kate Upton rocked the internet with allegations of sexual assault against Paul Marciano. At first, reluctant to divulge too much information, she tweeted to her 2.37 million followers that “it’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo”. If that name isn’t sounding familiar to you, Paul Marciano is the co-founder of popular clothing brand Guess. Neglecting to tweet until 7 days later, Upton shared an interview that she did with Time. Within this article, Upton discusses the horror that she went through at just 18 years of age as she was trying to make it in the modelling community.
It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo— Kate Upton (@KateUpton) January 31, 2018
Time reveals that as soon as Upton walked in the door to one of her shoots, Marciano 'forcibly grabbed [Upton's] breasts and started feeling them' using the excuse that he was just 'making sure they’re real'. This alone would be grounds for a massive problem. However, it soon gets worse. Marciano non-consensually 'started kissing [Upton's] face and [Upton's] neck' before demanding that he is given the right to walk her to the hotel room. Most would exercise a certain degree of caution when walking with another to their room even without the predetermined sexual assault, so one can only imagine how terrifying the situation must have been for Upton. She unquestionably declined. Thankfully, the photographer Yu Tsai offered to take her instead.
“Get that fat pig off my set.”Yu Tsai continued to be an ally through the next shoots of torment. Upton would text him everytime that Marciano would walk in the room, just so that she would never be alone with him. A month later Upton was at another Guess shoot, which Marciano took as yet another chance to harass the supermodel. Denying his advances, Upton was subsequently called and told that she had been fired. Her final shoot with Guess was in 2011, where Marciano took it upon himself to spread rumours that she was unprofessional and had gotten drunk on set. He reportedly demanded that they “Get that fat pig off my set.” Yu Tsai was eventually also fired.
The constant haranguing from this man in power took a massive toll on the supermodel. She spent hours wondering 'what am I doing to invite someone to treat me like that or grab me like that?' Her posture suffered as she slumped to hide her breast size, and she began to hate her own body. In response to these allegations, many have shrugged and nonchalantly stated that 'at least it wasn’t rape'. This, Upton claims, is part of the reason that she felt she needed to come forward. She simply doesn't think 'there are any blurred lines in this'. Sexual assault is sexual assault, and to deny the terrible impact it can have would be foolish.
"At least it wasn't rape."
In response to Upton's allegations, a spokesperson for Guess told Business of Fashion that they would 'will fully investigate [Upton's] claims once they are known to determine if they have any merit'. However, not long after the allegations were made, Guess' stock market dropped by a whopping 17.7% from where it had been before. This indicates that they lost at least $250 million of their company's value. However, it is also to be noted that this occurred around the time of the stock market 'crash' which saw the stock market lose about 3.5% in value. This could account for some of the loss, but not all. Overall, the company has suffered big losses.
Marciano maintains that the accusations against him are "absolutely false" in a statement to W magazine. Unfortunately, for him, Tsai appears to be backing up Upton's claims. For many, this has lent some credibility to the accusations and served as a tipping point for the beginning of an investigation into Marciano. Yet there are still disbelievers on Upton's Twiter, furiously denying that this ever happened.
This situation demonstrates how others, not only the victims of sexual assault, must come forward to counteract the abuse of power undertaken by those in authoritative positions. If you see something, say something. Lend a hand to those who need it.
What do you think about this entire situation? Did Guess and Upton handle it well? Does something more need to be done? Let me know your thoughts down in the comments!