Firing your lawyer of seven years the week before you have to go on trial doesn’t seem like the smartest idea, but in John Galliano‘s case, it was probably the right thing to do. According to a Galliano spokesman, the designer decided to fire his attorney Stephane Zerbib and his firm because of some funny stuff going on in his bank account.
A number of news outlets reported yesterday that Zerbib had been let go from the Galliano payroll a number of weeks ago, but no one could determine the cause of his dismissal. WWD spoke with Jo Milloy, a London-based publicist, about the staff change:
According to Milloy, Stéphane Zerbib was recently dismissed as Galliano’s lawyer following the discovery of apparent irregularities in respect to his firm’s administration of Galliano’s financial affairs over a number of years.
Ouch. If it wasn’t bad enough to be the target of international media attention for all the wrong reasons, having the one person you think you can trust manhandling your books is even worse.
Galliano was fired from the top spot at Dior in March after a Paris couple accused him of drunkenly yelling racist and anti-Semitic slurs at them in public. This is illegal in France, and LVMH, the company that owns Dior, has a zero-tolerance policy for racism. When video surfaced of Galliano proclaiming “I love Hitler” during a different incident, his fate was sealed.
Galliano is scheduled to start pre-trail hearings next week in Paris, where he will be accompanied by his new counsel Aurélien Hamelle of Paris-based Metzner Associés. Judges expect to set a trial date for the designer’s public insult case by May 12.