Guess fashion brand cofounder Paul Marciano filed an extortion suit against women’s rights attorney Lisa Bloom in Los Angeles Superior Court Monday, accusing Bloom of advancing false allegations of sexual assaults by Marciano in an attempt to shake him down for money.
In the suit, obtained by Los Angeles, Marciano’s attorneys claim that Bloom and her firm have engaged in “what has become a pattern of tortious, deceptive, and otherwise improper behavior by the defendants.” That pattern, the suit asserts, 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.”
Marciano’s lawyers add, “Whether the accusation is true or not does not matter. What matters is making the target pay up.”
Monday’s filing refers to accusations of sexual and harassment and assault brought against Marciano by four women—three of whom are suing Marciano—who Bloom represents and who first went public with their accounts last week.
Marciano’s suit goes on to allege that Bloom and her team threatened to accuse him of rape, “And they threatened to publicly do so even though their own client had told them it never happened [sic]. Hard to believe, but true.”
If you found that hard to believe, Team Marciano’s not done.
“Incredibly,” the lawsuit further states, “it gets worse.”
Not only did Bloom and her attorneys know the allegations were false, says Marciano, “but they also disregarded clear instructions from their own client to not accuse Plaintiff of rape. The client… specifically told the Bloom Defendants that Plaintiff never [sic] raped her. But the Bloom Defendants paid her no mind. Instead, they told [the client] they would not [sic] threaten Plaintiff with a rape accusation but did so anyway [sic].”
Despite this being perhaps the first lawsuit to contain more instances of dramatic italicization than the end of an H.P. Lovecraft story, Bloom is unimpressed.
“Over twenty women have accused Paul Marciano of sexual harassment and sexual assault (most of whom I did not represent), according to Guess’ own records,” Bloom told Los Angeles via email. “Guess has stood by him for decades despite the pleas of so many women for justice and a recent shareholder revolt. His strongarm tactics do not work on me.”
In fact, Bloom says she’s looking forward to examining Marciano:
“I am finally taking Paul Marciano’s deposition next week. He is getting desperate. He is losing the case and he knows it. (As for this former client, we have many confidential emails from her describing her appalling story of what Paul Marciano did to her, which is why she hired us, to get justice against him on her sexual misconduct claims. We get client approval on everything we send out.)”
Bloom concluded by doubling-down on the gauntlet throw-down. “I will not be distracted,” she writes. “This laughable, baseless case will be thrown out early. Mr. Marciano, I look forward to your appearance in my office next week where you will, for the first time, have to answer questions under oath about my client’s sexual assault claims against you. I am ready. Are you?”
Marciano is suing for unspecified general, compensatory and punitive damages, and court costs.
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