Designer John Galliano faces French court

Haute couture’s bad boy John Galliano will stand before a French judge Wednesday to answer to charges of anti-Semitic hate speech. Dropped by Dior, the British designer is expected to blame drug and alcohol addiction.
Around 100 French and foreign journalists, as well as hordes of fashionistas and celebrity news hounds, are expected to gather outside a Paris court on Wednesday, when British designer John Galliano will stand before a judge to answer to charges of launching an anti-semitic tirade in a trendy Parisian bar. Many will be searching the face of haute couture’s bad boy for signs of remorse and improved health after three months of detox, while others will be waiting to hear if he makes a public apology.
According to those close to the notoriously shy designer, Galliano is anxious about his day in court. But according to FRANCE 24’s fashion correspondent Jessica Michault: “He doesn’t really realise the gravity of the situation. He’s sort of in his little bubble.”
The incident in question occurred on Feb 24, when a couple, Géraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgité, were seated on the patio of La Perle, a café-bar in the upscale Marais district near Galliano’s residence. According to a report written by Yves Beddouk, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, Galliano called Bloch an ‘ugly, disgusting whore’ with a ‘dirty Jew-face’. Meanwhile, the plaintiffs say, the bar staff refused to intervene, ‘because of Mr. Galliano’s fame and his friendly ties’ with the owner of the bar.
After having read about this altercation in the press, another woman came forward to file a complaint accusing Galliano of insulting her in the same bar several months earlier, in October 2010. According to the woman, Galliano mocked her physical appearance and hurled racially-charged insults at her in English. And on Feb 28, the British tabloid The Sun published on its website a video showing a visibly drunk Galliano insulting people seated at the next table and declaring his love for Hitler.

Designer John Galliano faces French court
John Galliano.

Feb 24, 2011. John Galliano is briefly arrested for allegedly making anti-Semitic remarks towards a couple at a Paris café. The couple, a Jewish woman and her Asian boyfriend, told French radio Europe 1 he had said to them: ‘Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead’ and ‘******* Asian bastard, I will kill you’. He allegedly repeatedly called the woman ‘ugly’ and a ‘slag’. A police official said that Galliano also exchanged slaps with the couple. The row began at around 9pm at the bar known for its hip fashion clientele. Galliano was arrested and taken to a police station for a sobriety test, where he was found to be just over the legal limit. Police then escorted him to his home.
Feb 28, 2011. Galliano is been suspended from Dior. The designer visits a police station in Paris to answer questions about the incident. Just hours earlier, a video emerged of him apparently praising Hitler in a separate incident.
Another woman later comes forward to say she suffered a similar attack in October last year.
March 1, 2011. Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, who is the face of Christian Dior’s Miss Dior Cherie fragrance, issues a statement condemning Galliano over the video. “I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful.”
Dior confirms that it has sacked Galliano in light of the video.

1984. John Galliano graduates from Central Saint Martins and his graduation collection entitled Les Incroyables was bought in its entirety by British boutique Browns. He also starts his eponymous label around this time.
July 1995. At the urging of Anna Wintour, LVMH hires Galliano to head the creative direction of Givenchy. This was monumental as it was the first time a British designer was given the reins of a French couture house.
October 1996. Galliano is appointed as the chief designer of Christian Dior, taking over from Gianfranco Ferre. His first ever creation for the house, a peacock blue silk dress with lace detailing, is worn by Princess Diana at the Christian Dior exhibit at the Met in New York.
1999. The Dior Saddlebag is released and becomes an instant fashion worldwide hit.
November 2001: Galliano receives the ‘Commander of British Empire’ award from Queen Elizabeth for his contribution to fashion. He trades in his usual flamboyant personal style for a traditional morning suit for the ceremony, albeit sans shirt.
2007. A double celebration for the French house – It marked the 60th anniversary of Dior and Galliano’s 10th year as its creative director. Galliano presents one of his most breathtaking haute couture shows ever.
2009. He receives France’s Legion d’Honneur awarded to him by French president Nicolas Sarkozy. He joins the esteemed company of Ralph Lauren, Karl Lagerfeld and Valentino.

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