Kate Upton claims she was fired from Guess after co-founder grabbed her breasts and called her a 'fat pig'
Kate Upton has claimed that Guess co-founder Paul Marciano sexual harassed her, alleging he grabbed her breast and tried to tarnish her reputation when she refused his advances.
Last month, the supermodel hinted at allegations of sexual misconduct against Marciano and gave a detailed account of her claims in a new interview with TIME magazine, accusing him of "using his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass" women.
Mr Marciano vehemently denies the allegations.
Upton was the face of Guess from 2010 to 2011 and it was her appearance as a 'Guess girl' that catapulted her to mainstream modelling fame. She said that during a meeting in 2010, he grabbed her breasts, claiming: "(He) started feeling them - playing with them actually. After I pushed him away, he said, 'I'm making sure they're real.'"
"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.
"At one point he forcibly grabbed the back of my head so that I could not move and started kissing my face and my neck. 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. 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," she added.
She was 18 at the time.
On another shoot the following month, she said he invited her to his hotel room a number of times, detailing: "After several denials, I just turned off my phone and locked the door and tried to get some sleep. I was terrified. All I could think was if he was able to get into my room it would not be good."
She said she was fired the next day, claiming a representative of the brand called her agency to say "I had gotten fat".
On another occasion, in 2011, after allegedly refusing his advances again, she said he was "disgusting" on set, saying: "Get that fat pig off my set."
Guess offered her another campaign in 2012 for $400,000, which she declined.
Mr Marciano denies all the allegations, saying: "I have never been alone with Kate Upton,” he said. “I have never touched her inappropriately. Nor would I ever refer to a Guess model in such a derogatory manner.”
"I fully support the #metoo movement. At the same time, I will not allow others to defame me and tarnish my reputation. I have pledged to Guess and its Board of Directors my full support and cooperation with a fair and impartial investigation."