Kate Upton has opened up about alleged harassment by Guess co-founder Paul Marciano.
Supermodel and Sports Illustrated Swimsuit veteran Kate Upton has opened up about alleged harassment by Guess co-founder Paul Marciano in an interview with TIME's Eliana Dockterman.
On Jan. 31, Upton tweeted: “It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @Guess is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo.”
Upton told TIME that Marciano assaulted and began harassing her when she was on a modeling campaign at 18 years old. On July 25, 2010, Upton was shooting for Guess Lingerie.
"Paul came straight up to me, forcibly grabbed my breasts and started feeling them – playing with them actually," she said. "After I pushed him away, he said, 'I'm making sure they're real.'"
Photographer Yu Tsai was at the shoot and told TIME that he witnessed the harassment that Upton described.
Marciano denied the allegations and told TIME, “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.”
“I fully support the #metoo movement," he added. "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.”
According to Upton, Paul would reach out to her constantly and told her that he wanted her to change in front of him so that "he could see my naked body getting into his clothes."
Upton stopped working with Guess in 2011. During one of the final shoots, he allegedly told her that she was "disgusting" and told people that she was drunk on set and partying all the time. Upton told TIME she did not engage in that behavior. When he told her to leave, Upton says Marciano said, "Get that fat pig off my set."
Upton says that because of the experience, she wanted to quit modeling.
"I’m sick of being silenced and expected to sweep everything under the rug," Upton told TIME. "I’m sick of being expected to laugh off these aggressive advances and accept the power imbalances that exist. I’m sick of being expected to endure all of this while being polite and professional through it all. Paul used his power to make me feel insecure and powerless, but I’m not going to let him intimidate me anymore. These men think they are untouchable, but times are changing."
Read the entire interview at TIME.com.