Kate Upton Reveals Details About Alleged Harassment By Guess Co-Founder Paul Marciano

The 25-year-old alleges Marciano sexually assaulted and harassed her for several years.

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Following the outpouring of sexual harassment and assault allegations in Hollywood in recent months, Kate Upton has now come forward with her own accusations of sexual and emotional abuse against Guess co-founder, Paul Marciano.

Last month, the model posted several rather cryptic Twitter and Instagram posts using the hashtag #MeToo - used to to help demonstrate the widespread prevalence of sexual assault and harassment - to criticise Guess' continued work with Marciano.

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However, the star has now provided specific details about her alleged harassment, with the support of photographer Yu Tsai who says he witnessed the harassment Upton describes and corroborated details of her allegations.

In an new interview with TIME, Upton alleges that on her first encounter with Marciano, he grabbed her breasts during a photoshoot in 2010.

'As soon as I walked in with photographer Yu Tsai, 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."'

Marciano has denied the model's allegations, calling them 'absolutely false' and 'preposterous'.

'I have never been alone with Kate Upton,' he told TIME. '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.'

The 25-year-old added that despite doing everything she could to avoid Marciano's advances, he continued to touch her body during the shoot.

'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,' she claims.

At one point, Upton says Marciano allegedly told the photographer to leave him alone with Upton. However, Upton says she was able to text Tsai asking him to stay.

'I was extremely shaken, surprised and scared,' she admits.

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The newly-married star claims that she remembers not wanting to say 'Get off of me' for fear of opening her mouth and having Marciano kiss her.

'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 admits.

Upton claims Marciano asked her on several occasions to see her hotel room which she declined, repeatedly.

On one occasion, she says: '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.

'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.'

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The model continued to work with Guess but claims she soon learned that Marciano spread rumours about her after she refused to get dinner alone with him.

Upton alleges that during her final shoot with the brand in May 2011, Marciano said she was 'disgusting' and told people she was 'drunk on set and partying every night'.

'I was then told to leave because Paul had said, "Get that fat pig off my set."'.

In 2012, Upton was then offered to model for their Guess Jeans campaign with what she claims to be 'their highest paying offer ever'.

Opening up about her decision to accept the job, she says: 'I was hoping after my consistent denials and successful career, that Paul would treat me with professionalism. But as we got closer to the shoot date, Paul began texting that he would make sure to be on set.

'He told me that I wasn't allowed to bring my boyfriend. I just couldn't do it. I refused the campaign. I couldn't accept the money. I walked away about a week before the shoot was scheduled.'

As a result of her experience with Mariano, Upton says: 'It took a huge toll on my confidence and self-worth.

'I wanted to quit modeling. I constantly blamed myself after it happened: What am I doing to invite someone to treat me like that or grab me like that? I wondered if it was how I was presenting myself or what I was wearing. I started slumping my shoulders to hide my breast size, wearing baggy clothes, started despising my own body.'

'I'm sick of being silenced and expected to sweep everything under the rug. I'm sick of being expected to laugh off these aggressive advances and accept the power imbalances that exist. I'm sick of being expected to endure all of this while being polite and professional through it all.'

Discussing the need for change to prevent abuses of power, the model thinks 'the culture of complacency and tolerance in our industry needs to stop'.

'We shouldn't have to take a step back to a time when women weren't invited to networking events or one-on-one meetings. I don't want an environment where women can only work with women or vice versa. Good men do exist. I'm very lucky to know that because of my wonderful husband and father and brother. But we need to make sure we're hiring men with respect for women — not their bodies, but their minds and professionalism.'

Read the full interview with Upton here.

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