British designer John Galliano has told the French court that he has no recollection of launching an alleged antisemitic, racist attack in a bar. He has used his addiction to drugs, sleeping pills and alcohol is his alibi for not remembering.
The designer, who was immediately sacked from his post as creative director at Paris fashion house Dior because of the shocking nature of his ravings, faces up to six months in jail and $22,500 in fines.
Galliano was dressed in a black waistcoat, jacket, silk scarf and billowing black silk trousers, but no shirt, as he arrived in court. He was charged with making “public insults” based on ethnicity, origin, religion and race.
He has spent two months in an Arizona rehab centre, and in daycare at a Swiss centre for recovering addicts.
Galliano is not permitted to enter a plea under French law.
The judge asked Galliano about the incident that took place outside a bar in Paris’s Marais district where a French couple were enjoying a beer. They claim that the designer repeatedly insulted them with insults such as “fucking Asian bastard”, “dirty Jewish face” and “fucking Jewish ugly bitch”.
Economic crisis responsible for Galliano’s addictions
Galliano replied with: “I have no recollection”. When asked for an alibi as to why he couldn’t remember, he referred to his three-fold addiction to alcohol, sleeping pills and valium. The success of Dior was cited as one of the major reasons for his various addictions, saying he began drinking in 2007 “in a cynical way”: “After every creative high I would crash and the drink would help me to escape. At this point I had managed to turn creativity into a billion dollar business at Dior. Then the financial crash happened”.
In the economic crisis that followed, he said he was overworked with a manic, almost twenty-four hour schedule, and that it was during this time that he increased his intake of prescription pills that were helping him sleep.