Guess co-founder Paul Marciano will step down from his day-to-day responsibilities at the company. The decision came after allegations of sexual misconduct. Model and actress Kate Upton has accused Marciano of harassing women, though he and the company have denied claims.

Guess’ shares fell more than 17 per ncent in early February following Upton’s accusations against Marciano.

Upton said he shouldn’t be allowed to use his power to sexually and emotionally harass women.

The actress said that he had forcibly grabbed her breasts during a photo shoot eight years ago. She said that he showed up at hotels she was staying at and texted her inappropriate comments

“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’,” Upton said. At one point, he started forcibly kissing her, she says. 

“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.”

Marciano’s net worth slid millions. He has lost $52.8 million from his Guess shares. He has resigned from the company and lost the $330 million severance package that he would have otherwise earned.

Company and Marciano deny claims

“The company takes very seriously any allegations of sexual misconduct, is committed to maintaining a safe work environment, and looks forward to the completion of a thorough investigation of all the facts,” Guess said in a statement.

A special committee of the board of directors will investigate the sexual harassment allegations. Marciano will still keep his titles as chief creative officer and executive chairman while the investigation is going on.

“I have pledged my full cooperation to the Company, and I have the utmost confidence in our CEO, Victor Herrero, to continue leading the Company during this time,” Marciano said in a statement.

The company’s market cap was at an all-time high of $5.2 billion in October 2007. Now it has fallen by $302.9 million and its market cap is at $1.2 billion.

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Picture Credit: CNN

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