Galliano to stand trial; offers statement denying claims of racism
As the fall-out over the John Galliano scandal continues, the latest news is that he will stand trial over the incident which took place at a Paris café, in which he allegedly made anti-Semitic and racist remarks towards a couple.
The Paris Prosecutors Office has confirmed it will place the designer on trial following a police investigation. If all goes ahead, the trial could take place in the second quarter of the year with Galliano facing the possibility of up to six months behind bars and €22,500 in fines if found guilty.
The news came swiftly after Galliano released a statement yesterday morning in which he denied the claims made against him. He says: "Since the events of last Thursday evening I have not been able to make any public comment on what took place based upon advice from my French lawyer. However, given the continuing delays at the French Prosecutor's Office I should make my position clear. I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-operated with the police investigation.
"A number of independent witnesses have given evidence and have told the Police that I was subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing. For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me."
"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 own failures and that I must work hard to gain people's understanding and compassion. To start this process I am seeking help and 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.
"I have fought my entire life against prejudice, intolerance and discrimination, having been subjected to it myself. In all my work my inspiration has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light.
"Anti-semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologise for my behaviour in causing any offence."
There was no mention of the video, which prompted Christian Dior to fire him as creative director. Galliano has since left France for the US to seek help for alcohol problems. He has reportedly entered a rehab facility known as The Meadows in Arizona, where Donatella Versace once received treatment.
Fellow designers and celebrities haven't waited long to share their opinions on what's happened. Karl Lagerfeld told WWD he was "furious" about it, "because the question is no longer even whether he really said it. The image has gone around the world. It's a horrible image for fashion, because they think that every designer and everything in fashion is like this. This is what makes me crazy in that story." While Daphne Guinness has spoken out in support of the British-born designer, saying "it is mysterious. As what little I know of John he is not racist, sensitive and has been having a struggle... John is a genius, but this is insane."
As for the Dior A/W '11 collection which is due to hit the runway tomorrow, according to sources Galliano hadn't finished completing it before he was suspended last Friday. Stay tuned...