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Kate Upton Details Alleged Sexual Harassment by Paul Marciano

By TheBlast Staff

Kate Upton is finally telling her story about allegedly being sexually harassed by Guess co-founder Paul Marciano.

Upton kicked off a firestorm last month when she tweeted, "It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @Guess is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo."

Since then, several models had come forward to The Blast to tell their stories, sparked in part by Upton's tweet.

Now Upton is telling TIME the full account of what she says happened to her.

She says the first incident occurred on July 25, 2010, after the first day of shooting a Guess Lingerie campaign. Upton claims, " Paul came straight up to me, forcibly grabbed my breasts and started feeling them — playing with them actually. After I pushed him away, he said, 'I'm making sure they’re real.'"

A photographer, Yu Tsai, was in the room when this allegedly happened and corroborated the details of Upton's account to TIME. Marciano denies the allegations.

Upton claims Marciano continued to touch her "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."

A month later, Upton says Marciano tried to go see her in her hotel room. Upton says, "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."

Upton believes there were immediate repercussions to turning him down: "The next day, I learned that I had been fired from the shoot. Someone had called my agency to say I had gotten fat and would not be needed on set [that day]. I was devastated, especially because at this point no one from Guess had even seen me."

They would end up working together again a few months later and Upton says Marciano's "behaviors became much more aggressive" and her denials became "much more direct." She was fired again.

Upton says she had a final shoot for Guess in 2011 and says Marciano "was outwardly rude and degrading the entire time. He said I was 'disgusting' and started telling people how unprofessional I was by spreading rumors that I was drunk on set and partying every night, which of course I wasn’t. I was then told to leave because Paul had said, 'Get that fat pig off my set.'"

After her success with Sports Illustrated, Upton says she was contacted again by Guess in 2012 and offered $400,000 for a campaign. She turned it down.

"Paul used his power to make me feel insecure and powerless," Upton says, "but I’m not going to let him intimidate me anymore. These men think they are untouchable, but times are changing."

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