Guess plunges after Kate Upton accuses co-founder Paul Marciano of harassment

SPH Brightcove Video
Guess shares fell more than 16 per cent on Thursday following a tweet by model and actress Kate Upton about the company's co-founder using the #MeToo hashtag designed to highlight sexual harassment.
Upton (above), a supermodel and actress, hit out at Marciano on social media. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (BLOOMBERG) - Guess shares plummeted after Kate Upton accused co-founder Paul Marciano of sexual harassment, embroiling the fashion brand in the #MeToo movement.

Upton, a supermodel and actress, said on social media on Wednesday that Marciano "shouldn't be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women."

She added the #MeToo hashtag, which has become a rallying cry for the movement against sexual assault and workplace misconduct.

Marciano stepped down as chief executive officer of Guess in 2015 but still has major influence in the company in his roles as chairman and chief creative officer.

He art-directed the latest advertising campaign for Guess, featuring Jennifer Lopez, and appeared at a party celebrating its launch on Wednesday night.

"I'm disappointed that such an iconic women's brand @Guess is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director," Upton said in a tweet.

Guess suffered its worst stock decline in more than two months in the wake of the accusation, sending its shares down as much as 12 per cent to US$16.16. They had gained nearly 40 per cent last year.

Marciano held more than 14 per cent of Guess shares as of March 2017, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. That stake would be worth roughly US$25 million less after Thursday's decline.

The Los Angeles-based company didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Marciano told TMZ that he has never touched Upton and denied any wrongdoing.

Upton also spoke briefly with TMZ as she walked through Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday night.

"I'm excited to tell my whole story," she said.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.