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Attorney Declares ‘Total Victory’ After Guess Boss Drops ‘Shakedown’ Lawsuit

A Los Angeles court dismissed Guess Inc. co-founder Paul Marciano’s case against victim attorney Lisa Bloom last month, ending one chapter in a long-running legal saga involving sexual misconduct allegations against the prominent fashion executive.

Marciano sued Bloom and her eponymous practice The Bloom Firm on May 2, claiming the onetime representative for convicted sex offender Harvey Weinstein tried to “extort” the Guess chief creative officer by airing “horrific” rape accusations he alleges they knew were “utterly false.”

“The Bloom Defendants’ practice is to target 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,” the complaint said. “Whether the accusation is true or not does not matter. What matters is making the target pay up.”

The suit claimed Bloom’s then client, referred to as S.S., contradicted many of the facts outlined in the firm’s settlement request that Marciano and Guess ultimately paid. The complaint cited S.S.’s “sworn declaration” stating she “never told The Bloom Firm that any interaction between me and Mr. Marciano was not consensual.”

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“When I saw the word rape, I did not want it to be used in the draft complaint,” S.S., a so-called “whistleblower” among four former Guess employees accusing Marciano of sexual misconduct, said in a statement cited in the original complaint. “I told The Bloom Firm not to use the word rape in the draft complaint, and to remove it. I told them I was not raped. At no point did I consent to The Bloom Firm using the word rape in a draft complaint.”

Last month Marciano’s legal team moved to dismiss the “old-fashion shakedown” lawsuit with prejudice, according to a document filed Aug. 19 with the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. That means it won’t be able to lodge the same complaint again in that court of law.

In a statement, Bloom framed the dismissal as a “total victory.” Guess didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Marciano has long been dogged by misconduct allegations. He resigned as Guess chairman in 2018 after a four-month sexual assault investigation found he put “himself in situations in which plausible allegations of improper conduct could, and did, arise.” Though he was subsequently reinstated, an activist investor tried to remove him from the board earlier this year in an effort that ultimately failed when shareholders re-elected the Moroccan-born executive in April.

Meanwhile, Bloom’s lawsuit against the Guess board moved to arbitration in July after the Superior Court agreed to stay the proceedings against the seven defendants, including company co-founder Maurice Marciano and Coresight Research founder and CEO Deborah Weinswig. The complaint, alleging the Guess board aided and abetted sexual harassment in violation of the Fair Employment & Housing Act, claimed the “defendants’ decision to place Paul Marciano in a position to sexually assault and harass more models resulted in Paul Marciano sexually assaulting and harassing two more models.” It further alleged that “individuals on the Guess board have not only tolerated his actions, but have taken active steps to facilitate, ratify, and even reward Paul Marciano’s harassment and rape of women.”

The parties are scheduled for a post-arbitration conference on Jan. 23 unless they haven’t concluded their talks by that date.