Monday 18 December 2017

Galliano escapes jail after being convicted of racial abuse

Fashion designer John Galliano has been found guilty of racially abusing customers in a Paris bar and given suspended fines of €6,000.

The British stylist, 50, could have received a maximum fine of €22,000 and a six-month jail sentence.

The drunken slurs, in which he ranted "I love Hitler" and called a woman a "dirty Jew", lead to Galliano being sacked by top French fashion house Christian Dior.

In one incident in February, he is said to have verbally savaged shocked customers Philippe Virgitti and Geraldine Bloch, sitting near him at Paris's La Perla cocktail bar.

He branded Ms Bloch a "dirty Jew" and called Mr Virgitti an "Asian -------".

He also targeted Ms Bloch's "ugly eyebrows" and "cheap thigh boots" in the incident overheard by dozens of stunned witnesses.

Ms Bloch said the incident lasted for 45 minutes.

Other charges related to a video of Galliano showing him abusing an Italian woman at the same bar in October 2010.

The designer is seen saying: "People like you ought to be dead, your mothers, your forefathers would all be ------- gassed. I love Hitler."

Galliano has apologised for the incidents, but says he cannot remember the events because of his 'triple addiction' to alcohol, Valium and sleeping pills brought about by the creative stresses of his job.

He told the court in June: "I would crash after every creative high, and the alcohol would help me to escape.

"My body was becoming used to the pills, so my intake increased to an amount that I actually can't remember how many I was taking."

He added: "Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologise for my behaviour in causing any offence.

"All I can hope for in time is to address the personal failure which led to these circumstances and try and earn people's forgiveness."

Since the trial was adjourned, Gibraltar-born Galliano has spent time at the Meadows rehabilitation centre in Arizona, USA.

British Vogue magazine said his rehab treatment would be "long and arduous" but added: "He is humble, apologetic and hopeful that he can recover."

As well as a six-month jail term, Galliano also faces a £20,000 fine for the charges of 'public insults based on the origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity'.

Alleged slur victim Philippe Virgitti, 41, has already said he doesn't believe Galliano is a racist.

He told Le Parisien newspaper: "I don't think he's racist or anti-Semitic.

I just think he's very ill."

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