Galliano to stand trial over allegations of anti-Semitism
Published 03/03/2011 | 05:00
DESPITE saying sorry yesterday, it seems the fortunes of disgraced designer John Galliano remain unchanged.
On the advice of his lawyer, the British-born designer kept quiet after he was sacked as creative director of Christian Dior on Tuesday, but no sooner had he issued an "unreserved" apology -- in which he accepted accusations of anti-Semitism made against him had "greatly shocked and upset people" -- than he learnt prosecutors in Paris had decided to put him on trial over the affair.
The designer, who continues to deny the allegations, was dismissed from his position at the French fashion house after allegedly launching an attack on a couple sitting on a cafe terrace in Paris last week. Footage later emerged of a separate incident which appeared to show him abusing drinkers in the same bar and telling them he loved Hitler.
Just minutes after Mr Galliano broke his silence, prosecutors in Paris announced he would stand trial some time between April and June, and he could face up to six months in prison and €22,500 in fines if convicted.
In his statement, Mr Galliano said delays in his case had led to him speaking out. He claimed there would be witnesses who had told police that he was verbally abused and subjected to an "unprovoked assault" during the incident last Thursday, and that an assailant had tried to hit him with a chair.
"For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me," he said. "However, I fully accept that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people.
"I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light. I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my failures and that I must work hard to gain people's understanding and compassion."
His future remains uncertain, however, after his dismissal from Dior. The designer was the latest in a string of illustrious names at its helm, including Gianfranco Ferre, Yves Saint Laurent and of course M Dior himself. When he was appointed in 1996, there was outrage in the world of French couture at the choice of a young Gilbraltan-British upstart, but Mr Galliano soon won over his critics. His dismissal has, however, raised the inevitable questions about his successor.
Pundits are looking to other big names on the fashion scene, but it's more likely that Dior bosses will look on the Paris circuit for their next star. Currently in the throes of fashion week, the city saw Lady Gaga modelling for Nicola Formichetti's first womenswear collection for Thierry Mugler last night. (© Independent News Service)