Disgraced former Dior creative director John Galliano has been found guilty of racism and anti-Semitism by a Paris court after an altercation in a cafe some months ago.
John Galliano, who is known for his over-the-top runway collections and who until earlier this year ruled the renowned Christian Dior luxury label and his own namesake line, was found guilty today of "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity”.
Under French law, Galliano could have faced up to six months in prison and a fine up to $31,622, but the designer, who wasn't in the Paris courtroom when the verdict was announced, won't be required to serve any jail time; the totality of his sentence is a suspended fine of $8,432, which means that although it goes on his criminal record, he is not required to pay it.
It's the latest chapter in a scandal that has been roiling the fashion world since March, and the verdict was announced just as New York Fashion Week runway shows were getting underway across the Atlantic.Many of the key events in the saga have been framed by the global fashion week calendar. News of the original accusations came on the eve of the Paris ready-to-wear shows in March 2011, when Galliano was arrested in the Paris bar La Perle, accused of hurling anti-Semitic insults at a nearby couple in an alleged violation of French laws designed to curb anti-Semitism.
Dior, where he'd worked for nearly 15 years, suspended him the next day, pending investigation. After another woman came forward with a similar complaint and, later, a video surfaced that appeared to depict a similar incident involving the designer
Geraldine Bloch, 35, one of the victims said he first asked her to shut up and then criticized her clothes, hair, thighs, eyebrows and make-up. He made 30 anti-Jewish insults in the space of 45 minutes, she said. Another woman said he made similar insults to her in the same bar in October.
It is doubtful whether Galliano – who told his trial he couldn't remember the incident because of a "triple addiction" to alcohol, sleeping tablets and Valium – will ever be able to redeem himself at the top of the fashion world.
At his trial Galliano described the stress of fashion industry and the success of Dior and how he couldn't cope without alcohol or drugs. "I started having panic attacks, I couldn't go to work unless I had taken some Valium."
"After every creative high I would crash and the drink would help me to escape.” Said Galliano. He has claimed to be seeking treatment for his additions.