Paul Marciano Resigns as Executive Chairman of Guess Following Sexual Harassment Review

Paul Marciano - Getty - H 2018
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images for GUESS, Inc.

He stepped down Monday following a special investigation by the company and a half-million dollars in settlements.

Guess co-founder Paul Marciano resigned Monday as executive chairman of the board after the company paid settlements to women who accused him of sexual harassment.

According to an SEC filing made by the company Tuesday and obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, allegations against Marciano included "claims of inappropriate comments and texts, and unwanted advances including kissing and groping."

It continues, "Investigators interviewed more than 40 people and reviewed approximately 1.5 million pages of documents, including emails, human resources and legal department files, social media messages, video and audio recordings, photographs, travel itineraries, calendar entries, agreements, invoices and financial records."

Marciano announced his resignation to the board on Monday following findings from the special committee's investigation into his conduct. Guess' review concluded he did exercise "poor judgment" when working with models, and placed “himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise."

Guess paid a total of $500,000 in settlements to five women “to avoid the cost of litigation and without admitting liability or fault."

In January, model Kate Upton tweeted about her disappointment that he was still working for the retailer. She added on Instagram that he "shouldn’t be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women."

Marciano won't be leaving Guess, but will continue as a board member through his contract on Jan. 30, 2019, with his resumed salary (his salary was forfeited from Feb. 20 to June 11). His brother Maurice replaced him as chairman. They, along with two other brothers, founded the fashion company in the early 1980s, using models such as Anna Nicole Smith in brand advertising campaigns through the years.

A representative of Guess said the company had no further comment.