Additional Sexual Assault Accusers Come Forward Against Guess Co-Founder

Sexual Assault Guess Co-Founder
Photo courtesy of Guess

Additional women have come forward accusing Guess? Inc. Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Paul Marciano of sexual impropriety, the latest accusations in a troubled history for the brand.

During a March 17, 2022, press conference hosted by attorney Lisa Bloom, three former Guess models and one former employee who alleges an assault occurred in 1983 shared their stories of alleged sexual abuse by Marciano. In court documents filed Jan. 19, 2021, with the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County, Jane Doe 1, a model who revealed her identity as Amanda Rodriguez during the press conference, outlined several allegations against Marciano, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, sexual battery, gender violence, false imprisonment and retaliation.

The plaintiffs’ legal strategy involves implicating not just Marciano but the Guess organization and its board of directors.  The documents allege that members of Guess’ human resources department responded to Rodriguez’s complaints filed with the company by denying the model work.

“I will do whatever I can to protect other women and prevent this from happening to another model,” Rodriguez said during the press conference. “Guess did not protect me. I call on Guess to do the right thing and to finally listen to the women that are telling them about this cycle of abuse.”


In a separate case, two of the models allege that certain board members protected Marciano and overlooked the alleged criminal behavior. In addition to ongoing arbitration against Marciano, Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 are suing members of the Guess board for complicity in the co-founder’s behavior and protecting him.

Named as defendants in the court documents dated March 16, 2022, filed with the Superior Court of California in Los Angeles County, are board members Maurice Marciano, Guess Co-Founder and Paul Marciano’s brother; Alejandro Yemenidjian; Anthony Chidoni; Laurie Ann Goldman; Deborah Weinswig; Victor Herrero; Gianluca Bolla; and Joseph Gromek. Board members are accused of “aiding and abetting sexual harassment in violation of the Fair Employment & Housing Act.”

“For years, individuals on the Guess board have not only tolerated his actions, but have taken active steps to facilitate, ratify, and even reward Marciano’s harassment and rape of women,” the complaint reads.

In a March 17, 2022, statement released by his attorney Shawn Holley, Marciano denied the allegations, according to WWD.

“I know for a fact that The Bloom Firm has fabricated false claims of alleged rape about me and others to extract big money settlements,” the partial statement read. “The courts will decide who is being truthful.”

In addition to damages and attorneys’ fees, the plaintiffs seek to have Marciano removed from the Guess board and relieved of any duties that would afford him access to current and prospective models.

In 2018, Marciano announced that he would resign as Executive Chairman of Guess following the company’s investigation of accusations of sexual crimes, during which it was found that he was guilty of exercising poor judgement. Responsibilities were transferred to Herrero, who was CEO. In 2019, Carlos Alberini joined Guess as CEO and Director, while Marciano agreed to remain at the company as Chief Creative Officer at the board’s request.

On March 9, 2022, Legion Partners Asset Management, which is a shareholder of Guess?, Inc., questioned the decision by the company’s board to retain the services of Marciano despite the extensive allegations. The firm encouraged other shareholders to make their voices heard regarding the issue. On March 16, 2022, Legion introduced a “Vote No” campaign, which opposes the re-election of the Marciano brothers to the Guess? Inc. board.

Guess responded to the Legion announcement on March 10, 2022, noting that its decision to retain Paul Marciano followed an extensive investigation performed by a special committee.  

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