Guess forms special committee to investigate sexual harassment claims

Business


Guess on Friday said it formed a special committee to oversee an ongoing investigation into allegations of sexual harassment and other improper conduct by Paul Marciano, the specialty apparel retailer’s CEO.

Marciano has feverishly denied those allegations ever since actress and brand model Kate Upton last week called out the co-founder for allegedly using “his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women.”

Guess has said it won’t “condone such misconduct in any form,” and has brought on law firms O’Melveny & Myers and Glaser Weil to assist. The company has promised “an extensive and impartial investigation into all of the facts.”

Marciano’s office didn’t immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

In an interview with Time Magazine earlier this week, Upton said about her experiences with Marciano: “It took a huge toll on my confidence and self-worth. I wanted to quit modeling. I constantly blamed myself after it happened: What am I doing to invite someone to treat me like that or grab me like that?”

“The culture of complacency and tolerance in our industry needs to stop,” she said. “The people around in the corporate offices or around the harassers every day know of every time they do this. They’re the ones who need to speak out.”

Guess shares are down about 8 percent for the year, having cratered following Upton’s initial accusations on Jan. 31. The stock is up about 16 percent from a year ago.



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