Popular clothing brand Guess faces new calls this week to oust co-founder Paul Marciano, who has been accused by at least four women of sexual assault or harassment in the past year. And now his alleged victims are calling multi-hyphen superstar Jennifer Lopez, a Guess model in her own pastfeaturing the latest movie featuring key product placement for the Guess brand.
In the big studio rom-com Marry meIn theaters this Friday, and via NBCUniversal’s Peacock streaming service, Lopez plays a heartbroken pop star who’s unexpectedly married to a stranger (Owen Wilson) who unwittingly holds up a plate “Marry Me” sign in her performance.
Like the real-life Lopez who was the face of the famous Guess campaigns as recently as Year 2020, her fictional Kat Valdez is a Guess model. As such, the brand stands out in two separate scenes: In an exposure montage, Lopez’s character performs a Guess photo session; and elsewhere, Wilson’s character observes Guess advertisements glowing on top of a taxi.
The movie was shot in 2019, when Lopez was participating in the Guess campaign and before the latest series of Marciano accusers were launched in early 2021. Lopez is no longer signed to the fashion brand. The film’s release was delayed until this week due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the film’s release with the massive endorsement of the Guess brand drew the ire of Marciano’s accusers, including the former model, as The Daily Beast reported last year, sued the tycoon and his company for allegedly forcing her to perform oral sex on him and then retaliated against her when she complained. (In her lawsuit, the woman anonymously identified as Jane Doe. The Daily Beast confirmed her identity but generally did not name the alleged victims of sexual misconduct without their consent.)
“I don’t understand how J.Lo, a woman, an icon and role model to many, can continue to support a company and its founder Paul Marciano even despite all the serious accusations. Our importance has come to light and our lives have been, Doe told The Daily Beast this week. “Where’s the female support?”
The Model Alliance, a leading advocacy group for professional models, disappointed Lopez’s association with the Guess brand, writing in a statement: “The Model Alliance stands with the survivors. by Paul Marciano. Those who have a platform to speak out, but turn a blind eye to this abuse, will trigger his predatory behavior. We need to demand real accountability in the fashion industry.”
A representative for Lopez, who also serves as a producer on the film, did not respond to multiple requests for comment on this story. Representing her fellow producers, the film’s director, Kat Coiro, NBCUniversal, and Guess also did not respond to The Daily Beast’s questions.
The Hollywood-level product placement comes as Guess is under fire for sticking with Marciano, who over the past year has been accused of sexual misconduct by Less than four separate womenthree of the people—including Doe—Take their lawsuit to court. Over the past decade, at least six other women are accused 70-year-old misconduct tycoons, including supermodel Kate Upton, who alleged that he raped her when she was 18 years old.
Guess has continued to defend him, despite the emergence of new claims as well as trademarks the insurance company leaves the company about Marciano’s alleged “pattern” of “misconduct”. And just this week, Legion Partners, a Guess shareholder, went public was called to the company’s board of directors to get rid of Marciano immediately. The investment firm opposed Guess sided with the tycoon despite its own 2018 internal investigation concluding the tycoon “executed poor judgment” and placed itself in a situation of “justifiable allegations of misconduct”. improperly could and did,”. The firm also called on the board to pour Marciano’s brother Maurice, who Legion claims “used his influence to cover up for his brother’s inappropriate actions.”
Another former Guess model, Gwen Van Meir, who in April 2021 Allegations that she was sexually harassed of Marciano on her eleventh campaign for the brand, lamented Lopez’s continued association with the slick fashion company.
“It’s disappointing when Marry me is choosing to highlight Guess… but it hasn’t been removed yet [Marciano] despite a lot of models complaining about his behavior,” she told The Daily Beast. “I feel it is important that women in the industry support each other and have the right to a safe, harassment-free work environment.”
“It’s so sad” that Lopez’s new film will feature Guess endorsements, Marciano’s latest accuser added, anonymously identified in a lawsuit as “Jane Doe 3,” who late last year accused the fashion executive of luring her to a hotel meeting in 2013 with the promise of future modeling contracts before sexually assaulting her there.
“While models like Kate Upton and many of my clients have spoken out about Paul Marciano and Guess, JLo has chosen to throw its brand weight behind the company. Lisa Bloom, an attorney representing the three women who have sued Marciano over the past year, says it’s up to JLo and what she stands for. “However, we will continue to fight the three current cases of sexual harassment and sexual assault. It has been a long, difficult road to justice but we are determined to get there.”
Photographer and director Chris Applebaum, who last year told The Daily Beast He has personally witnessed Marciano sexually harassing his model, expressing skepticism that the film’s producers were fully aware of the seriousness of the allegations against the executive. Guess practice.
“I love Jennifer and her team… she’s so bright, caring and sweet,” said Applebaum, who is known for her work with other pop stars like Rihanna, Britney Spears and Miley Cyrus . “I can only imagine that she wasn’t aware of the problems with Guess and that’s all why it’s so important for women’s voices to be heard, especially survivors.”
But Eileen Toal, another Marciano accuser, who last year is narrated in amazing detail The fact that the mogul accused her of performing oral sex on him in 1983, while she was dating his brother, was less willing to give Hollywood the benefit of the doubt.
“All it takes is a simple Google search. It wasn’t a he said, she said; that’s one they said. I find it shocking that she supports this guy,” she said. “It’s hard to believe she didn’t know. There were publicists, lawyers, managers — someone who could tell he was a predator. She is putting other women at risk.”
Toal concluded: “For someone like J.Lo, who represents the power of women, this is a slap in the face.”