Stephane Zerbib, who’s been John Galliano‘s lawyer for the past seven years, is Jewish. And as far as he’s observed, his star client isn’t racist or anti-Semitic so much as he’s a guy who got drunk, took too many pills, and got taped saying some really, really racist and anti-Semitic things.
Zerbib has been the target of threats and harassment since the beginning of Galliano’s scandal, which started in a bar in Paris and is far from over. Galliano has been fired from his cushy job as creative director and couturier at Dior, and will have to stand trial for hurling racist insults at a couple in public. Zerbib told Y Net News that his religion won’t prevent him from defending Galliano in court and in the press, because he’s observed him to be “polite, courteous, very human.” Excerpts from Zerbib’s interview, which reveal his relationship with the designer, his thoughts on that infamous video, and what he blames for this whole mess.
On what caused the outbursts:
“It’s alcohol mixed with medications. You’re very vulnerable when you’re in this state. People who don’t know the case can afford to say things and they all have opinions. It’s easy to talk, criticize, be appalled. But these people don’t know what really happened.”
On claims that Galliano hired him only because he’s Jewish:
“If it amuses them let them say it. But I have been John Galliano’s lawyer for the past seven years. It has nothing to do with the fact that I have a Jewish name.”
On his relationship with Galliano:
“He’s polite, courteous, very human. His collections have always been about tolerance, openness, love and mutual respect. He even did a show inspired by the homeless to remind us of the creativity of those struggling to make it with little financial means.”
On separating his job from his religion:
“There are always those who preach, who say ‘how can a Jew defend anyone accused of such slurs,” he says. “My job as a lawyer is to guarantee that a person gets a fair trial and that his rights will be protected. I am wary of pre-judgment, that’s not my job.”
Read the rest of Zerbib’s interview here.
Galliano’s Jewish lawyer [Y Net News]