Despite accusations of sexual misconduct from supermodel Kate Upton and others, Guess directors have agreed to a whopping $30 million settlement to resolve their claims that co-founder Paul Marciano harassed the company’s models Allegations of turning a blind eye.
Board members agreed to a deal to pay $22 million to settle a lawsuit from a pension fund that accused them of allowing Marciano to treat the company’s models as “his personal harem” and failing to supervise it, court documents show. The millionaire fashion designer. guess? The company is suing its insurance company for the remaining $8 million, according to Delaware Chancery Court documents.
Directors said in the filing on Friday that they agreed to pay the money, with plans to return it to company coffers rather than pension funds “to eliminate the burden, expense and uncertainty inherent in further litigation.” Board members did not admit the deal existed Any inappropriate behavior.
The allegations against Marciano surfaced as the #metoo movement gained momentum, with a group of women publicly accusing top executives on Wall Street and Hollywood of sexual misconduct, leading to some firings and some criminal convictions.
Fabrice Benarouche, guess? A Los Angeles spokesman did not immediately return a call Friday seeking comment on the settlement.
Rhode Island’s Employee Retirement System, a guess? Shareholders filed suit against the directors in 2022, following a series of allegations against Marciano involving sexual misconduct with a model hired to represent the blue jeans maker. In 2018, Upton took to Twitter (now known as X) to accuse Marciano of molesting and forcibly kissing her years ago, starting when she was a teenager.
Other models were quick to echo Upton’s claims, prompting Guess? Directors launched an internal investigation, according to court documents. But directors did not take the investigation seriously, failed to interview several accusers and produced an “extremely brief” report that downplayed the allegations, according to the fund’s lawsuit.
After Marciano resigned as CEO in 2015, the board appointed him chief creative officer, allowing him to “really force himself into one model after another,” the fund said in the lawsuit.
As part of the settlement, guess? Documents show directors must make changes to the company’s corporate governance policy to better address sexual harassment claims. Delaware County Justice Lori Will is expected to pay the $22 million within 10 days of approving the settlement, documents show.
In the meantime, guess what? Co-founder Maurice Marciano (Paul’s brother) announced on Friday that he would be resigning from the company’s board of directors. In court documents, the company acknowledged that the fund’s lawsuit played a role in Maurice Marciano’s decision to leave the board.
This is not the first settlement involving sexual harassment allegations against Paul Marciano. 2022, guess? agreed to pay $1 million to resolve a lawsuit filed by two unidentified models who accused the fashion designer of abusing them.