What exactly happened between
Now in a new interview with
Unfortunately, Kate couldn’t afford at the time to turn down all work with a company as big as Guess. But she says she tried to figure out a way to get past Paul’s advances:
“We came up with a plan that anytime Paul invites himself to my room, I would text Yu Tsai to be there so that I was never alone in a room with him. I was still very nervous and scared because clearly Paul was comfortable with touching me in front of him. But Yu Tsai assured me that he would look out for me, so that’s what we did.
After that, Paul was reaching out to me constantly, always in communication about my next shoot. But I wouldn’t officially be booked until a few days before the actual shoot. It made me feel that if I cut off communication with him, I wouldn’t be booked again. Paul’s texting increased, telling me how excited he was to see me, that he wanted me to change in front of him so he could see my naked body getting into his clothes. He asked if I thought of him when I was posing sexy on set.
All the language he used was extremely dominant and possessive. At one point, to avoid Paul coming to set, I told him my boyfriend was going to be there. He was absolutely furious at that. It was an emotional and non-stop battle of games, power struggles and creative avoidance tactics.”
It all sounds like stories we’ve heard about Weinstein. These disgusting men in their positions of power…
“Then in what seemed to be retaliation, Yu Tsai was fired from the next shoot, which was Guess Jeans [between Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, 2010]. That’s when I worked with the photographer Ellen von Unwerth. Paul’s behaviors became much more aggressive without Yu Tsai there as a buffer. My denials to Paul had to be much more direct. Then I was told the morning of the shoot I was not needed on set and was fired again. I believe that Ellen insisted that I come anyway.
Ellen and I rode together on the way back to the hotel. I remember her asking me if I was friends with Paul because he seemed to really like me. I wasn’t sure how much was safe to reveal, so I told her that I appreciated the opportunities Paul had given me to be a part of his campaign, but I think that maybe he liked me a little too much.
When we arrived at the hotel, Paul came right up to me, grabbed me hard by my arm and insisted he was taking me to dinner, just him and I, to celebrate the campaign. Ellen picked up on this, literally grabbed my other arm, and invited herself by saying she was so excited to celebrate the campaign with us. Paul told her she was not invited to dinner, and I felt like she saved me by pulling me away from him and jokingly walking me to the elevator, saying, “Well if I’m not going, Kate’s not going.” I have always been so grateful to Ellen for doing that.”
Time reached out to Ellen von Unwerth, who through a rep offered support for Kate but also said she didn’t remember this particular incident.
“After that he was extremely upset. I had a final shoot [in May of 2011], and he was outwardly rude and degrading the entire time. He said I was “disgusting” and started telling people how unprofessional I was by spreading rumors that I was drunk on set and partying every night, which of course I wasn’t. I was then told to leave because Paul had said, ‘Get that fat pig off my set.'”
Shortly after all this, Kate’s career really blew up thanks to her famous Sports Illustrated cover — but with that success came a big, scary offer:
“Guess Jeans reached out to my agency and offered me their campaign again in 2012. Typically, Guess pays well below industry standards since they like to say they like to launch young models’ careers. But for this campaign, they offered me $400,000, which at the time was their highest paying offer ever.
I remember I had an internal struggle over this offer. I was hoping after my consistent denials and successful career, that Paul would treat me with professionalism. But as we got closer to the shoot date, Paul began texting that he would make sure to be on set. He told me that I wasn’t allowed to bring my boyfriend. I just couldn’t do it. I refused the campaign. I couldn’t accept the money. I walked away about a week before the shoot was scheduled.”
She said no to $400K! THAT is how uncomfortable this man made her.
But Marciano’s alleged behavior was costing her more than money:
“It took a huge toll on my confidence and self-worth. I wanted to quit modeling. I constantly blamed myself after it happened: What am I doing to invite someone to treat me like that or grab me like that? I wondered if it was how I was presenting myself or what I was wearing. I started slumping my shoulders to hide my breast size, wearing baggy clothes, started despising my own body.
Over time, you minimize and internalize your experiences. You chalk it up to, “This is how it is.” And you go through this gut-wrenching struggle of, “How much of myself am I required to sacrifice?” I got through it because of the strong support of my family and close friends.”
The #MeToo movement has changed everything. Kate says:
“I’m sick of being silenced and expected to sweep everything under the rug. I’m sick of being expected to laugh off these aggressive advances and accept the power imbalances that exist. I’m sick of being expected to endure all of this while being polite and professional through it all.
Paul used his power to make me feel insecure and powerless, but I’m not going to let him intimidate me anymore. These men think they are untouchable, but times are changing.”
Hell yes they are.
See what Kate thinks needs to change about the industry at large HERE.
[Image via TNYF/WENN.]