Kate Upton

Kate Upton, who gained fame as a bikini model, says Guess co-founder Paul Marciano was sexually inappropriate with her. He’s heatedly denied the charges. (Photo: Kate Upton/Instagram)

Kate Upton joined the #MeToo movement when she accused Guess co-founder Paul Marciano of sexual misconduct. But now Marciano is firing back. He called her claims “malicious and false” and said he “never acted inappropriately” toward her.

Upton, 25, made the surprise revelation on Twitter last week.

“It’s disappointing that such an iconic women’s brand @GUESS is still empowering Paul Marciano as their creative director #metoo,” she wrote.

She later added on Instagram: “He shouldn’t be allowed to use his power in the industry to sexually and emotionally harass women #metoo”

Marciano, 65, released a statement charging that Upton “leveled this malicious and false accusation only hours before a gala event at our headquarters in Los Angeles unveiling a new Guess campaign.”

“As of today, Ms. Upton still has provided no facts, details, no dates and no circumstances to back up anything she has alleged,” he added.

The statement added:

“I am told that she has been working with others for some time to defame me and will claim that I groped her among other things. This accusation is false. I have never touched Kate Upton. I have never been alone with Kate Upton. I have never acted inappropriately towards her. “In recent days, many models, photographers, stylists and others have reached out to express support based on their longstanding personal and professional interactions with me. I deeply appreciate their encouragement during this challenging time for me and my family.”

Upton countered that she is “excited to tell my whole story.”

Marciano said he has “pledged to the Guess Board of Directors that I will fully cooperate with a fair and impartial investigation into all the facts.”

Upton’s husband, Justin Verlander, also retweeted her post.