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Kate Upton — Guess Jeans Founder Fondled Boobs to Make Sure They Were Real

Last week, Kate Upton sent a tweet that implied Paul Marciano had sexually harassed her.

This week, she spoke with Time about what happened, and Time corroborated what happened with Yu Tsai, a fashion photographer who witnessed Marciano’s harassment of the young model.

After the first day of shooting the Guess Lingerie campaign [on July 25, 2010], Paul Marciano said he wanted to meet with me. 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.”

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. He then told Yu Tsai to leave us alone. I was able to send a quick text to Yu Tsai asking him to stay. He did, but that did not stop Paul’s constant grabbing. I was extremely shaken, surprised and scared.

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.

Then Paul insisted that he walk me up to my hotel room. I immediately declined. The only thing I was thinking is if he touches me like that in public, I can’t imagine what he’d try to do in private. Thankfully, Yu Tsai stepped in and insisted he’d do it. I was so relieved and felt like I had barely escaped.

According to Upton, Marciano was extremely aggressive in trying to get her to sleep with him and on more than one occasion he dismissed her from shoots after she rejected his advances. When Yu Tsai agreed to always be in the room with Upton when Marciano was there, Marciano fired him. After the new photographer, Ellen von Unwerth, allegedly helped Upton avoid Marciano, this is how Upton describes her last day working for Guess Jeans.

After that he was extremely upset. I had a final shoot [in May of 2011], and he 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.”

You know, over the years, I’ve heard a lot of stories of actors and actresses, mostly actresses, being “hard to work with.” Robert Downey, Jr. famously fucked up Ally McBeal by nearly killing himself with drugs and alcohol, to the point where Marvel was seen as taking a huge risk by casting him as Tony Stark in Iron Man. That was true, but I wonder how many stories we’ve heard where “everyone knows” how difficult someone is to work with and how they’re always out partying is because they refused to sleep with someone. I’ve seen a lot of interviews with directors where they get asked about a notoriously “difficult” performer and the director says they were lovely to work with. This has to go on a lot.

Upton also said she declined another shoot with Guess after her career took off, where she was offered almost half a million dollars, because Marciano began texting her and telling her not to bring her boyfriend to the set when she had accepted. To turn down that amount of money, Marciano must be a serious creep.

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