Guess Inc. founders and brothers, from left, Armand, Paul and Maurice Marciano in 2002.
Guess? Inc.'s Paul Marciano resigned as chairman after a probe of sexual-harassment allegations by women including model Kate Upton, though he won't be leaving the company he co-founded altogether.
The allegations levelled against Marciano, who remains as chief creative officer of Guess, first came to light back in February when U.S. model Kate Upton tweeted that it was "disappointing" Guess was still "empowering" him as its creative director.
Marciano has denied all the allegations and has not admitted any wrongdoing, saying in a statement after Upton's allegations that they were "preposterous".
At the start of the year Upton told Time magazine that Marciano grabbed her breasts during a Guess photo shoot almost eight years ago.
Although he forfeited his salary for the period from February 20, when the investigation was first announced, until he notified the board of his resignation on Monday, the outgoing Marciano will collect a salary from now until January, Guess said in a filing. He also owns a 17 percent stake in Guess Inc. He will forfeit his salary for the period he sat out, but will be paid from June until January.
GUESS Flagship Boutique on Nov. 10 2011 in Beverly Hills Calif. More
A month later on another shoot, she said Marciano repeatedly asked to come up to her hotel room, but that she turned off her phone, locked the door and tried to sleep.
The company had announced in February it would be conducting an investigation into multiple allegations of sexual misconduct, including "inappropriate texts and comments, and unwanted advances including kissing and groping". "In some cases, no conclusion could be reached because the individuals either declined to be interviewed or provided insufficient information to the investigators", today's filing said. "And, in other cases, the investigation found that credible accounts were given by both sides".
Ms Upton allegations were corroborated by photographer Yu Tsai.
Resignations like Marciano's in the fashion industry have been far rarer than in movies and other media in the wave of sexual misconduct revelations spurred by stories on Harvey Weinstein in October. CEO Victor Herrero will take over Marciano's remaining responsibilities at the company.
"To avoid the cost of litigation and without admitting liability or fault, the Company and Mr. Paul Marciano entered into non-confidential settlement agreements resolving claims of five individuals arising out of allegations of inappropriate conduct by Mr. Paul Marciano for an aggregate total amount of $500,000", according to the filing.
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Others point out that the FTC, which oversees consumer protection for every corner of the USA economy, already has its hands full. The disclosure will help regulators spot anti-competitive practices, according to a summary of the rules distributed by the FCC.