Paul Marciano has accused Kate Upton of “maliciously and falsely” planning to claim that he groped her in a bid to damage his brand.
The model, who was once the face of Marciano’s clothing brand Guess, shared her concerns about the fashion mogul on Instagram last Tuesday (30Jan18), accusing him of “using his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women”.
Marciano denies he sexually harassed anyone and has now issued a statement to TMZ.com alleging Upton is planning to accuse him of groping her.
“I am told that she has been working with others for some time to defame me and will claim that I groped her among other things,” he said, before going on to accuse the 25-year-old of attempting to derail last week’s launch of Guess‘ new campaign featuring Jennifer Lopez. “She leveled this malicious and false accusation only hours before a gala event at our headquarters in Los Angeles unveiling a new Guess campaign.”
Shares in the company fell by almost 20 percent after the model posted her claims.
Upton did not make any specific allegations, but later reiterated her claims on Twitter and told a TMZ.com reporter she was “excited” to tell her story in due course.
Lopez, who attended the launch of her spring Guess campaign hours after the allegations became public, has said she supports any investigation into alleged inappropriate behavior.
Bosses at the brand have said they will investigate Upton’s allegations once she outlines them in full. Editors at The Business of Fashion website report that Guess executives have previously investigated two harassment complaints made against Marciano but cleared him on both occasions.
Sources close to the fashion mogul have told TMZ that he believes Upton’s remarks are due to Guess bosses’ decision to drop her as a model after a photoshoot ended badly. Upton is yet to respond to Marciano’s claim she is orchestrating a smear campaign.