John Galliano’s Lawyer: He Took Valium ‘Like Candy’

With John Galliano‘s trial for public insult set for today in Paris, his lawyer has revealed a few details of her defense argument. Aurelien Hamelle told reporters late yesterday that her client isn’t anti-Semitic. He’s just a guy who took way too many anti-depressants.

Hamele, who replaced Stephane Zerbib as the architect of Galliano’s case a few months ago, told The Daily Telegraph that it’s obvious Galliano was a very sick man. His addiction to various pills and alcohol, along with an environment that allowed him to indulge in those vices regularly, is credited with the racially charged rant that got him fired from Dior and cast out of the fashion industry’s heart.

“He had a triple addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepine (Valium) and sleeping pills … The combined effect of these drugs is a state of complete and utter abandon.”

Pressure to perform led him to drink heavily and take Valium pills “like candy” as well as sleeping pills regularly, Miss Hamelle said.

“When he was in that state he had no way of knowing or remembering what he said.”

Still, being blacked out doesn’t make someone any less accountable for his or her actions, and it only makes Galliano look worse that he got so out of control so frequently. After Geraldine Bloch and Philip Virgiti complained about their run-in with Galliano this February, two other people came forward to complain that the designer had said similarly anti-Semitic things to them — one even had video of his outburst.

The trial starts in about half an hour, and according to GQ‘s deputy editor Michael Hainey, who’s live tweeting the trial, the Paris courtroom where it’s taking place has no air conditioning. But we’re guessing Galliano, who’s been in hot water for months, might just be used to it by now.

Women’s Wear Daily reports the trial could last four or five hours, but a judgment probably won’t be handed down until the fall. We’ll continue to bring you updates on this story as more information becomes available.

[The Daily Telegraph, WWD]

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