Darling of the fashion world makes an unlikely bigot
Can John Galliano really be absolved of his sins by blaming drink and drugs? Aoife Drew ponders his descent
THE strange case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde was metamorphosed into a modern-day drama in Paris last week as John Galliano, the once fabulously flamboyant haute couture designer for Dior, stood trial for making "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity".
Looking thin and anxious, the man bore little resemblance to his former incarnation as outrageous darling of the fashion world and was barely audible when responding to the charges read against him. Galliano, who sat stone-faced through the seven-hour trial, claims to have no memory of the incident in Le Perle, a brasserie in Paris's Jewish quarter, being out of his mind on drink and drugs.
When the judge reminded him of his words that night -- such as repeating "dirty Jewish whore... at least 1,000 times", "I love Hitler", and criticising the appearance of Geraldine Bloch, a 35-year-old museum curator -- the multimillionaire designer pleaded: "I have an addiction. I am currently undergoing treatment."