Guess Inc. co-founder steps down amid sexual assault allegations

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Guess appointed Paul Marciano's brother, Maurice Marciano, as chairman of the board.

Armand (L) Paul (C) and Maurice Marciano, founders of the Guess clothing line, pose as they arrive at their company's 20th anniversary party in Los Angeles, May 9, 2002.

Guess Inc. says its co-founder Paul Marciano is stepping down after a company-commissioned investigation of allegations of sexual harassment and assault.

Investigators concluded that though not all allegations could be corroborated, Marciano put himself in situations where such allegations might occur. He denied the allegations but, two weeks after they were leveled, Marciano stepped down from his day-to-day duties. He will forfeit his salary for the period he sat out, but will be paid from June until January.

Upton, who was once the face of the label, first accused Marciano on Twitter, before detailing her allegations in an interview with Time magazine earlier this year as the #MeToo campaign against sexual misconduct widened within the fashion industry. Paul Marciano said the claims were "absolutely false".

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Paul Marciano resigns at Guess amid sexual misconduct scandal

The fashion retailer said on Tuesday that numerous allegations, which included inappropriate comments and texts and unwanted advances, could not be corroborated.

"Numerous allegations could not be corroborated", the filing added. Investigators interviewed more than 40 people and reviewed about 1.5 million pages of documents, including e-mails, human resources files, social media messages and travel itineraries. And, in other cases, the investigation found that credible accounts were given by both sides.

Four brothers, including original designer George Marciano, in 1981 founded the brand whose denim became a phenomenon in the 1980s and 1990s.

Marciano and Guess also reached non-confidential settlement agreements with five individuals totaling $500,000 to avoid "the cost of litigation and without admitting liability or fault", it said.

"We are pleased at today's news. and yet, much more remains to be done if Guess truly wants to be a brand that stands for respect for women", said lawyer Lisa Bloom, who represented four of the alleged victims.

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