John Galliano, the former designer at Dior and also his name sake Galliano, took the stand yesterday at a trial in Paris. Remember last February, when Mr. Galliano was accused of making anti-Semitic remarks on two separate occasions? Well, in France where the incident occurred , such actions are considered a criminal offense and not taken lightly. Many wondered if it was a coincidence or planned that the trial was scheduled for the day one of the five-day mens runway shows in Paris. The press was in town to cover the shows, why not cover the court trial as well?
On the night in question, which was caught on tape, a museum curator and her boyfriend were having dinner at La Pearle, when Mr. Galliano went into a drunk rant, using the two diners as the target, using anti-Semantic and racial remarks as his weapon. After pressing charges, stemming from this incident, another woman came forward, to claim a similar incident had happened, at the same locale, involving Mr. Galliano. Natalie Portman, the face of Dior who is also Jewish, went with another designer for an awards show post-rant. Shortly after, Mr. Galliano was fired from Dior and had his Galliano runway show downgraded to a presentation, from which the designer was notably absent.
The defense team informed the court that Mr. Galliano has undergone treatment for alcohol, Valium and sleeping pill addiction, listing those among the reasons he lashed out. When testifying, Mr. Galliano told the court that he was sorry for his behavior on the days in question, although he claims to not have any recollection of the incident. Said incident lasted 45 minutes, to which the court questioned the sincerity in his apology, wondering how he could go on for an extended period of time, but not remember a single minute.
GQ Fashion (@GQFashion) tweeted live from the courtroom yesterday, documenting everything from Mr. Galliano’s entrance and what he was wearing (black suit, black tie with white dots, black brogues) to the judge’s reading of the remarks, to which many snickered when read first in English and then in French. The laughing was due in large part to the judge’s English accent and how the phrases sounded, not because what Mr. Galliano verbally threw at the diners on the night in question. Court documents revealed that the angry rants were more common than realized. The driver, who chauffeured the defendant around Paris in a New York City cab, would often call Mr. Galliano’s lawyer when his rider would start to fly off the handle.
After a seven hour hearing, court was dismissed and the reading of the verdict scheduled for September 8. If convicted, Mr. Galliano could received up to 6 months in jail or a 22,500 euro fine (approximately $32,000). The museum curator has said that she is only asking for one euro compensation, on moral grounds, where her boyfriend pursuing 220,000 euros for moral damage.