Guess forms committee to oversee investigation against co-founder

Shoppers walk by a Guess? store in Golden, Colorado, December 3, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - Fashion retailer Guess Inc GES.N on Friday said its board had formed a special committee to oversee an ongoing investigation into allegations of improper conduct by co-founder Paul Marciano.

Earlier this month, model and actress Kate Upton tweeted accusing Marciano of using his power to harass women.

On Feb. 1 Guess Inc GES.N shares fell more than 17 percent following the claims by Upton accusing Marciano of harassing women.

In a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in early February, the company denied any misconduct on the part of Marciano, but said it would investigate Upton’s concerns if it determines they had merit. Marciano also separately denied the claims.

The fashion retailer had then said it would investigate Upton’s claims “once they are known to determine if they have any merit.”

The committee will be made up of two independent directors, the company said in a statement on Friday.

Reuters has not independently confirmed the claims.

Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Clive McKeef