Galliano suspended over racism claim
Published 26/02/2011 | 05:00
John Galliano, the British fashion designer, has been suspended as creative head of Christian Dior after his arrest for allegedly hurling racist and anti-Semitic abuse at a couple at a Paris cafe.
Police detained Galliano on Thursday night on suspicion of "light violence" and "insults of an anti-Semitic nature".
He is said to have made the outburst on the pavement outside the La Perle cafe in the Marais district of central Paris, close to where he lives.
Galliano (50) was due to present his autumn-winter collection for Dior, the French fashion label of which he has been creative director for 15 years, in Paris next Friday, followed by a show for his own label on Sunday.
Dior, which is owned by LVMH, a luxury goods group, declined to comment on whether the show would go ahead and said Galliano would relinquish his role "pending an investigation by the police".
Sidney Toledano, the chief executive of Dior Couture, said: "The House of Dior confirms, with the greatest firmness, its policy of zero tolerance for any anti-Semitic or racist comments."
According to Europe 1 radio station, the designer shouted insults about the identity and sexual probity of a woman of Jewish origin and her companion, of Asian origin. The couple filed a complaint and police said Galliano could face a summons at a later date. Officers were also said to be investigating an allegation that Galliano exchanged slaps with the couple, and a police spokesman said breath tests showed he had been drinking "quite heavily".
Galliano was taken to hospital to "ensure his health was not at risk" then released without charge "on the instructions of the public prosecutor".
His lawyer said that the designer "formally denies the allegations of anti-Semitism against him", and added: "He is not at all in this state of mind." (© Daily Telegraph, London)