The Verdict In John Galliano’s Public Insult Trial Is In
A Paris court found former Dior couturier John Galliano guilty of yelling anti-Semitic slurs at a couple in a Paris bar last February. The designer has been fined €17,500, or around $24,600 at current exchange.
Women’s Wear Daily reports Galliano was not present when his verdict was handed down on Thursday, when the court decided his admitted drug and alcohol abuse didn’t justify the racist insults and threats he made to Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgiti at a bar called La Perle. Insulting someone based on their race or religion is a crime in France, and the maximum penalty is six months in prison, with a fine of €22,500.
As the details of the case became clearer, we learned that this was not the first time Galliano had made such remarks under the influence of drugs. After Galliano’s first outburst caused a firestorm of media outrage and sadness, another woman came forward to complain that she’d been the target of one of Galliano’s racist rants, too. Christian Dior CEO Bernard Arnault suspended his star designer, citing a zero tolerance policy for anti-Semitism and racism. Then, The Sun published an undated video of Galliano slurring the line, “I love Hitler,” and Dior fired its former golden boy almost immediately.
After a very public stint in rehab, Galliano headed back to Paris for his trial, where he told the court he had absolutely no recollection of any of the incidents. He and his lawyer Aurelien Hamelle told the court that Galliano had become dependent on sleeping pills and took Valium “like candy.” When combined with alcohol, Galliano said he entered blackout periods in which he couldn’t be held accountable for his actions — and that he’d gotten the help he needed.
But neither that, nor his swearing to have fought against “prejudice, intolerance and discrimination” his entire life, having been subjected to it himself as a gay man, seemed to matter to the court. And while it’s sad to say this, we’re sure paying that fine won’t cover the cost of his formerly stellar reputation.