Guess has launched an independent investigation into the sexual misconduct accusations levied against the fashion brand’s co-founder Paul Marciano, saying the company does not “condone such misconduct in any form.”
“The Company is committed to completing an extensive and impartial investigation into all of the facts. On February 7, 2018, the Board of Directors formed a Special Committee comprised of two independent directors to oversee an ongoing investigation into recent allegations of improper conduct by Paul Marciano. Mr. Marciano adamantly denies the allegations,” Guess announced Friday afternoon.
Los Angeles-based law firm O’Melveny & Myers LLP will conduct the investigation, while the company said that another firm, Glaser Weil, LLP, will advise the committee.
News of the investigation came shortly after former Playmate Kristina Shannon accused Marciano of sexual assault, claiming he dropped Kate Upton‘s name in an effort to allegedly coerce her into sexual acts.
Shannon, 28, told The Blast that Marciano first approached her to model for him in late 2012 and that he set up a test shoot for her.
“He specifically told me about Kate Upton and how he spotted her and made her famous. He promised me the same,” Shannon said, claiming he told her he slept with Upton and said, “‘Look where she is now.’”
Shannon claimed that after the shoot, Marciano invited himself up to her apartment, where she alleges, “He forced himself on me … [he was] caressing my breasts and grabbing my crotch and walked me over to my bed and laid me on my stomach.”
Shannon says that the two then had sex and that their intimate relationship continued in hopes that she would get the Guess campaign that she claims he promised her. That the campaign never materialized, but Shannon says Marciano did frequently request nude photos from her over text.
Upton, 25, previously accused Marciano of groping and trying to kiss her during her time with the brand in 2011. She also claims Marciano sent her inappropriate text messages asking to see her naked.
Marciano vehemently denied Upton’s claims, which he said were “absolutely false” and “preposterous.” He previously said of Upton’s allegations, “I have never been alone with Kate Upton. I have never touched her inappropriately, nor would I ever refer to a Guess model in such a derogatory manner.”
Upton alleged Thursday that the issues with the company go beyond Marciano.
A rep for Guess did not immediately return a request for comment on Shannon’s accusations.