Guess founder sues Lisa Bloom, boasting popular attorney extorted him

A founder of the Guess clothes empire has accused Lisa Bloom of extortion, expressing the notable lawyer threatened to publicize a rape assert that she understood to be fake except the trend mogul and his firm agreed to pay back a settlement.

Bloom represented females who had accused Bill Cosby and Bill O’Reilly of sexual misconduct. Now she finds herself a defendant in a lawsuit submitted Monday by Paul Marciano’s lawyers in Los Angeles County Outstanding Courtroom.

Bloom, they argued, crossed the line from legal advocacy to extortion by allegedly threatening to publicly model Marciano a rapist if he did not shell out a big total of cash to settle the dispute with an aspiring design.

Bloom knew the accusation could not be genuine for the reason that her customer instructed her so, the complaint reported, but she nevertheless pressed in advance with the stress marketing campaign. She allegedly forwarded a draft criticism to Marciano’s attorneys that would be posted, alongside with the phony rape allegation, if he did not settle.

Maurice Marciano, left, and Paul Marciano show up at a Guess launch bash in Los Angeles in 2019.

(Tommaso Boddi / Getty Visuals)

In a statement Monday, Bloom termed Marciano’s statements of currently being extorted “laughable” and “baseless” and predicted his lawsuit would be thrown out.

But Marciano’s lawyers stated they have a sworn declaration from the lady, who was so alarmed at Bloom’s misrepresentations that she came forward as a “whistleblower” and exposed her alleged ways.

The lady, recognized in the complaint by her initials, “does not want women of all ages like herself to be manipulated by Lisa Bloom,” claimed Gary Kaufman, one particular of Marciano’s attorneys.

The lawsuit delivers a perspective, albeit a just one-sided 1, of the bare-knuckle negotiations that precede general public authorized motion. Bloom, Marciano’s lawyers claimed, is recognised to threaten individuals and companies with airing damaging allegations in a lawsuit or at a news conference except if a settlement is paid out out.

“Whether the accusation is real or not does not issue,” they wrote. “What matters is producing the focus on fork out up.”

Bloom explained Marciano’s lawsuit was the mark of a “desperate” guy, a person whom she will be deposing following 7 days in the situation of a female who has accused him of sexual misconduct.

“He is getting rid of the case and he is aware of it,” she mentioned in the statement.

“Mr. Marciano, I glance ahead to your visual appeal in my office environment following week the place you will, for the initial time, have to respond to inquiries underneath oath about my client’s sexual assault claims against you,” she mentioned. “I am completely ready. Are you?”

In lawsuits and information posts, various women of all ages have accused Marciano, 70, of undesirable innovations, kisses and groping. That prompted Guess’ board to fee an investigation that discovered that “on certain situations,” Marciano experienced “exercised poor judgment in his communications with products and photographers” and had place himself in “situations in which plausible allegations of inappropriate conduct could, and did, crop up.”

Bloom has represented quite a few females who have accused Marciano of wrongdoing. Her consumer in the dispute cited in Marciano’s lawsuit was an aspiring model who final March reported to Guess’ human resources office that she had been sexually harassed.

As personal negotiations ground on, Bloom and other attorneys from her company escalated the severity of the woman’s accusations in an attempt to extract revenue from Marciano and the business, his attorneys mentioned.

Very first, Bloom’s company sent a letter to Guess saying the woman experienced been “sexually assaulted,” according to Marciano’s legal professionals. To settle the make a difference, they demanded $1.9 million, the complaint stated.

Lawyers from Bloom’s firm instructed the woman not to fulfill with a law firm Guess had employed to look into the harassment allegations, according to the grievance, and they told her she was necessary to meet up with with a therapist if the firm was to signify her.

Attorneys from Bloom’s firm “dictated to me precisely what to say and what not to say to the therapist,” the girl stated, according to Marciano’s lawsuit. “They instructed me to explicitly blame Mr. Marciano for all troubles even though I did not feel he was to blame for my activities.”

Previous Might, although the dispute was in arbitration, Bloom sent a “final” need that Marciano and Guess shell out $235,000 to settle the make any difference, attaching a 27-page draft complaint that would be filed in court docket if they did not, Marciano’s legal professionals claimed.

In the draft grievance, the lady purportedly accused Marciano of raping her in a “personal rape place,” in accordance to Marciano’s grievance. This was the to start with time Bloom had raised a rape allegation in the case, mentioned Kaufman, Marciano’s attorney.

“You’re conserving that? Shouldn’t that be your guide?” Kaufman stated, referring to Bloom’s final-moment escalation. “It’s like a prosecutor indicating, ‘He jaywalked, he littered,’ and six months later, ’Oh, yeah, he murdered somebody.’”

Marciano and Guess agreed to settle for an undisclosed amount in July, the criticism mentioned, mainly because of worries that his standing could be ruined and there could be fallout between shareholders.

In the settlement settlement, the woman acknowledged that Marciano experienced not raped her, in accordance to his grievance.

The woman has because informed Marciano’s legal professionals that, when she first study the draft grievance, she’d insisted that Bloom and other lawyers at her organization eliminate the term “rape” from the document, as she experienced not been raped, Marciano’s attorneys wrote.

She was explained to it had been taken out, but the draft criticism despatched to Marciano’s legal professionals even now bundled the rape allegation, the complaint stated.

In her assertion, Bloom stated the woman’s “appalling story of what Paul Marciano did to her” is documented in “many confidential emails.” Consumers indication off on “everything we mail out,” she added.

Asked irrespective of whether he experienced contacted any law enforcement authorities with the allegation that Bloom had extorted his customer, Kaufman mentioned: “I cannot comment on the existence or nonexistence of any law enforcement investigation.”

Michael Avenatti, as soon as a high-flying plaintiffs’ legal professional who represented Stormy Daniels when she claimed to have had sex with previous President Trump, was convicted final 12 months of attempted extortion, a felony case that stemmed from his representation of a youth basketball coach in a dispute with Nike.

Boasting to have evidence that the sportswear big experienced compensated athletes to go to certain universities, Avenatti demanded that the business both employ him to conduct an internal investigation or pay out much more than $20 million to his client. If they did not, he threatened to maintain a news convention that would harm the company’s benefit.

Avenatti was billed in federal courtroom with tried extortion, discovered responsible at trial and sentenced to extra than two a long time in prison. Kaufman said he thought the details alleged in Marciano’s lawsuit have been “more compelling” than people in Avenatti’s prison circumstance.

Avenatti experienced warned of linking Nike to a bribery scandal, while Bloom experienced threatened to accuse Marciano of rape — “a horrible, despicable allegation,” Kaufman stated. “And according to Ms. Bloom’s previous customer, the allegation was not real, and Ms. Bloom realized it wasn’t correct.”

Bloom, whose mom is the large-profile legal professional Gloria Allred, came beneath fireplace right after reporters from the New York Instances unearthed a memo in which she experienced laid out a campaign to discredit Harvey Weinstein’s accusers and manipulate media coverage to forged the now-disgraced motion picture producer as “the hero of the story, not the villain.”