Kate Upton is continuing to speak out about her experiences with Guess cofounder Paul Marciano. The model, 25, appeared on Good Morning America on Friday, February 9, to explain why she decided to come forward now about Marciano’s alleged misconduct.
“I was going back and forth about sharing this story because it’s always easier to leave things in the past, but actually what gave me the push to do it is I did a workout with a lot of new models for fashion week,” Upton told Robin Roberts. “It was their first fashion week and a lot of girls were sharing how excited they were about the different opportunities they got and the start of their career, and I remembered being in that place whenever I got the meeting to go meet with Paul Marciano and how different my view of the industry after that meeting was. I wanted to prevent that from happening for these other girls who are just starting out.”
She went on to explain that the situation made her question how she was professionally putting herself out there. “I’m thinking, I walked in to a professional meeting and I thought I was carrying myself in a professional way … how did this treatment happen to me?” she asked. “You start blaming yourself. You try to change yourself. I started slumping my shoulders, wearing baggier clothes, and I had to go through this moment where I was like, ‘That’s not my fault, that’s his fault.’”
Upton took to Twitter on January 31 to accuse Marciano, 65, of sexual misconduct in 2010 when she was only 18. She then detailed her alleged experience in an interview with Time magazine published on Wednesday, February 7, saying that after she shot a lingerie campaign with Guess in 2010, Marciano met with her.
“As soon as I walked in with photographer Yu Tsai, Paul came straight up to me, forcibly grabbed my breasts and started feeling them — playing with them actually. After I pushed him away, he said, ‘I’m making sure they’re real,’” Upton claimed in the magazine. “Despite doing everything I could physically do to avoid his touch throughout the meeting, he continued to touch me in a very dominating and aggressive way, grabbing my thighs, my arms to pull me closer, my shoulders to pull me closer, my neck, my breasts, and smelling me. He then told Yu Tsai to leave us alone. I was able to send a quick text to Yu Tsai asking him to stay. He did, but that did not stop Paul’s constant grabbing. I was extremely shaken, surprised and scared.”
Upton, who was the face of Guess from 2010 to 2011, claimed that he then grabbed her head and started kissing her. “I remember not wanting to say, ‘Get off of me’ because I didn’t want to open my mouth to say anything because I didn’t want him to be able to put his tongue in my mouth,” the model alleged. “I had two options: do everything I could to wiggle away and avoid his pursuit, or punch the CEO of Guess. So, I decided to just wiggle away.”
The Other Woman actress says photographer Yu Tsai was in the room at the time of the alleged incident and he corroborated the claims to Time.
Marciano has declined all of Upton’s claims. “I have never touched Kate Upton. I have never been alone with Kate Upton. I have never acted inappropriately towards her,” he told TMZ in a statement. “I have devoted my entire career to building a fashion company and brand that have a long and proud record of empowering women. I fully support the #metoo movement.”
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