“The investigation found that on certain occasions Mr. Marciano exercised poor judgment in his communications with models and photographers and in placing himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise,” the filing said.
The investigation into Mr. Marciano’s behavior began after Kate Upton, an actor and three-time Sports Illustrated cover model, took to Instagram and Twitter to accuse Mr. Marciano of sexual and emotional harassment in January. After she posted, her social media pages were flooded with hundreds of comments. Among them were messages of support from women who said they had also had inappropriate experiences at the company or with Mr. Marciano.
A week later, Time.com posted an interview with Ms. Upton. In it, she said that Mr. Marciano had grabbed her breasts, thighs, shoulders and other body parts, and kissed her face and neck during a meeting after her first photo shoot with Guess. After Ms. Upton’s story went public on Feb. 7, 2018, Guess quickly announced that the company was forming a special committee to investigate her claims, and a little over a week after the announcement, Mr. Marciano temporarily stepped away from his daily responsibilities as the chief creative director of Guess and executive chairman of the company’s board.
One of the women who felt encouraged to come forward after Ms. Upton’s story was published was Miranda Vazquez, who said that in March of last year, Mr. Marciano invited her to an apartment in Los Angeles under the pretense of reviewing her portfolio. Instead, she said, he assaulted her. In February, Ms. Vazquez, accompanied by her attorney Ms. Bloom, filed a report about the incident with the Los Angeles Police Department.
Mr. Marciano has been accused of sexual harassment in the past as well. In 2009, Lindsey Ring, a former fit model for Guess, filed suit against Mr. Marciano in Los Angeles. The suit said that, beginning in May 2008, Mr. Marciano “began to create a hostile work environment for Ms. Ring by making sexual comments to her, repeatedly touching her inappropriately and without her consent, and attempting on at least two occasions to fondle her sexually after taking her to a private area at the worksite.”