Model Kate Upton is further explaining the sexual harassment allegations she made towards Guess co-founder Paul Marciano, saying, “I’m not going to let him intimidate me anymore.”
Upton first made the claims in a Jan. 31 tweet that read, “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @Guess is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo.”
After Upton’s disclosures, Marciano sent a statement to TMZ, saying in part, “This accusation is false. I have never touched Kate Upton. I have never been alone with Kate Upton. I have never acted inappropriately towards her.”
On Wednesday, the 25-year-old model gave a powerful interview to Time, revealing abusive treatment from the fashion mogul, starting from when she was 18.
In a statement to Time, however, Marciano denied the allegations. “I have never been alone with Kate Upton,” he said. “I have never touched her inappropriately. Nor would I ever refer to a Guess model in such a derogatory manner.”
Marciano added, “I fully support the #MeToo movement. At the same time, I will not allow others to defame me and tarnish my reputation. I have pledged to Guess and its board of directors my full support and cooperation with a fair and impartial investigation.”
In the Time interview, Upton described her first day of work in July 2010 for a Guess lingerie campaign. “Paul Marciano said he wanted to meet with me,” she said. “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.’”
Upton continued, “Despite doing everything I could physically do to avoid his touch throughout the meeting, 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. He then told Yu Tsai to leave us alone. I was able to send a quick text to Yu Tsai asking him to stay. He did, but that did not stop Paul’s constant grabbing. I was extremely shaken, surprised, and scared.”
“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.”
Upton described how Marciano “insisted” on walking her to her hotel room, but the photographer intervened. “I was so relieved and felt like I had barely escaped,” she said.
One month later, Upton accepted another Guess shoot and once in her hotel room, she says Marciano called “several times” asking to visit. “After several denials, I just turned off my phone and locked the door and tried to get some sleep,” she said. “I was terrified. All I could think was if he was able to get into my room it would not be good.”
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