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Paul Marciano Sues Attorney Lisa Bloom for ‘Shakedown Scheme’

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Paul Marciano is fighting back on new rape claims with an extortion lawsuit targeting attorney Lisa Bloom, the lawyer behind the latest legation targeting the Guess executive. On May 2, the Guess Inc. founder sued Bloom for unspecified general, compensatory and punitive damages and court costs.

Marciano alleges that Bloom threatened a lawsuit claiming he raped her now-former client, referred to as “S.S.” Now considered by Marciano’s legal team to be a “whistleblower” exposing Bloom’s wrongdoings, S.S. has stated in a sworn declaration that she “never told The Bloom Firm that any interaction between me and Mr. Marciano was not consensual.” Further, Marciano alleges that Bloom disregarded clear instructions from S.S. to not accuse him of rape.

S.S. was one of four former Guess employees that accused Marciano of sexual harassment last month—all of whom were represented by Bloom.

According to Eric Rose, Guess’ publicist and partner at L.A.-based public relations firm Englander Knabe & Allen, Bloom’s actions are part of a “shakedown scheme” targeting “well-known individuals and public companies with accusations of improper behavior, typically under the guise of a purported sexual harassment claim, and threaten to make those accusations public. Whether the accusation is true or not does not matter.”

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Rose added that Bloom famously represented American former film producer and convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein during the #MeToo movement, and used tactics to discredit victims.

Bloom responded in a statement highlighting the many accusations against Marciano, stating that “over twenty women have accused [him] of sexual harassment and sexual assault—most of whom I did not represent—according to Guess’ own records,” and that he is “getting desperate” as his deposition date approaches.

Claims against Marciano span decades, most notably with model Kate Upton, who in 2018 accused him of verbal harassment and inappropriate touching when they worked together in 2010. Last year, Eileen Toal, a former employee of a boutique affiliated with the Marciano family, came forward with allegations of sexual assault from 1983. The accusations triggered an investigation, which resulted in settlement agreements totaling $500,000 with five individuals who had accused the founder of sexual harassment, as well as Marciano’s resignation from his role as executive chairman. The following year, Guess announced that Marciano would stay on as a Guess board member and chief creative officer.

Marciano’s case against Bloom comes on the heels of what the lawyer calls a “shareholder revolt,” as activist investment firm Legion Partners attempted to remove Marciano from Guess’ board of directors following what were then the latest allegations against him.

However, Guess stated that the accusations were “resurfaced” from 2018, and that the details of the alleged incident came from public information. The company then moved its annual shareholders meeting from June to April to “give shareholders the earliest opportunity to vote” on whether or not Marciano would remain on the board, though Legion Partners saw the rescheduling as an attempt to “freeze current share ownership positions.” Ultimately, Marciano was reappointed to the board.