Guess Founder Paul Marciano To Resign After Investigation Into Improper Conduct

The allegations against the fashion house mogul came to light in February after Kate Upton accused him of groping her.

Fashion designer Paul Marciano has announced he will resign as the executive chairman of the board at Guess after an internal investigation into whether he engaged in sexual misconduct.

In addition, the company has paid out $500,000 in non-confidential settlements to five people who accused Marciano of inappropriate conduct, The Blast reports.

An internal document obtained by the website said that, although many of the allegations couldn’t be corroborated, there was evidence that “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.”

After the findings were presented to the Guess board on June 7, Marciano told board members he would be resigning and his brother, Maurice, would take over his duties.

Bloomberg reporter Kim Bhasin said Marciano gets to stay on until January, when his contract expires.

The allegations against Marciano first came to light in February after model Kate Upton posted a tweet accusing Marciano of using his power to harass women, according to Reuters.

Upton said Marciano repeatedly groped her, a practice that began on her first day of a lingerie modeling shoot with Guess in July 2010, when she was 18.

“Paul Marciano said he wanted to meet with me,” she told the magazine. “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.’”

After Upton accused Marciano, Guess’ shares fell more than 17 percent. Shortly after, the company’s board formed a special committee made up of two independent directors to oversee an investigation into accusations against Marciano.

HuffPost reached out to Upton, who did not immediately respond.

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