Former Playboy Playmate Kristina Shannon has come out to accuse Guess co-founder Paul Marciano of sexual assault.
“He forced himself on me,” Shannon told journalists, adding that he started “caressing my breasts and grabbing my crotch and walked me over to my bed and laid me on my stomach.” The two of them then had sexual intercourse, Shannon said.
Shannon, a former girlfriend of late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, claims that she continued to have communication with Marciano until late year, according to The Blast.
“Now that I’m talking about this, I’m getting so emotional. The whole reason my sister and I did Playboy is because we wanted to be models. He hung that over me. I hate him,” Shannon added.
She also revealed that he bragged about being the man responsible for making Kate Upton famous, and she alleges that he claimed to have slept with Upton.
As has been widely reported, Upton recently made claims of sexual harassment against Marciano, detailing a situation that took place at a photoshoot.
“After the first day of shooting the Guess Lingerie campaign [on July 25, 2010], Paul Marciano said he wanted to meet with me,” Upton explained. “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.’ ”
“I remember not wanting to say ‘Get off of me,’ ” Upton recounted, “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.”
Jennifer Lopez has also spoken out about the allegations against Marciano, saying, “My position on these issues is well known, as I have been very vocal about them. I do not condone any acts of sexual harassment, violation, or misconduct. Any accusations should be fully and thoroughly investigated. I will continue to support our rights as women.”
Marciano gave a responding statement to TIME, calling Upton’s allegations “absolutely false” and “preposterous.” “I have never been alone with Kate Upton,” he said. “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,” he continued. “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.”