Kate Upton does not regret sharing her #MeToo story.
The 25-year-old supermodel appeared on Friday’s Good Morning America and opened up about what it was like to break her silence in a Time magazine article regarding an incident she alleges took place between herself and Guess co-founder Paul Marciano.
Upton claims that when she was 18, Marciano forcibly groped her during a lingerie photo shoot for Guess while a photographer was in the room. The 65-year-old fashion mogul has denied the allegation, calling it “absolutely false and preposterous.”
“I have never been alone with Kate Upton. I have never touched her inappropriately. Nor would I ever refer to a Guess model in such a derogatory manner.,” Marciano said in a statement. “I fully support the #MeToo movement. 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.”
“I was [going] back and forth about sharing this story because it’s always easier to leave things in the past,” Upton told GMA‘s Robin Roberts, adding that what gave her a “push” was meeting with up-and-coming models who were excited to start their career in the fashion industry. “I remember being in that place when I got the meeting to go meet with Paul Marciano.”
As for Marciano flat-out refuting her story, Upton said this was expected. “I agree with him, we were never alone together and I made sure of it,” she explained. “I don’t really need his validation for what happened. I’m not looking for him to come forward and tell the truth and, honestly, I expected him to do that.”
She added, “I think it speaks to how he has treated these allegations in the past. It used to work in the past but that’s not the case anymore.”
Upton said when she was 18, people were advising her not to tell her story. “You are constantly pushed to go on set no matter what happens and they’re bringing up examples of other women who are fine with this behavior and have really successful careers,” she expressed. “You’re suddenly being pushed to be there. You’re also having doubt in your mind of how I acted. ‘Did I ask for this treatment?’ But you didn’t.”
The supermodel also hopes that those who are guilty of sexual harassment will be held accountable. “I would love for people around these people to come out so they’re not enabling them,” she continued. “So that victims not only have to live through this and relive it again when they come out with their story. They should not be also expected to change the entire culture inside all these corporations and businesses. It should be the people around wanting to make the workplace better and wanting to give equal opportunities.”
Upton told Roberts that Guess has not contacted her regarding an investigation around this alleged incident, but noted that she would be open to speaking with those at the brand.
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