For the first time in months, former Dior designer John Galliano has come out in the public to take the stand for his trial on accusations that he used anti-Semitic slurs at a Paris café. The designer was charged with “public insult based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity” when he got himself involved in an incident captured on video that immediately spread like wild fire on the Internet.
Dressed in black with a polka dot neckerchief, the one-day trial was witnessed by fashion writers and some television networks. The 50-year-old designer says that what he did was not something he believed in and blamed his “triple addictions” for his unacceptable behavior.
Galliano admitted he could not remember anything about the incident and blamed his addictions to alcohol, sleeping pills and barbiturates which made him unaware of what he was doing that time. “I have a triple addiction. I’m a recovering alcoholic and a recovering addict.” He says his problems began way back in 2007 when he began drinking and eventually became hooked with sleeping pills and barbiturates.
“After every creative high, I would crash and the alcohol helped me,” he said, and his creativity was one of the things why Dior became a multi-million dollar fashion house. Unfortunately, Dior fired him because of this case, after 14 years of service with the institution.
In an AP report, prosecutor Anne de Fontette asked the courts for Galliano to be fined EURO 10,000 instead of sending him to jail. Though judges of the case are not required to follow the prosecutor’s request, maximum penalties are seldom given to first-time offenders.
Galliano’s act was put in the spotlight last February in the eve of the Paris Fashion Week. The designer has denied any knowledge of what transpired that day. “These are not views that I hold or believe in,” he said. “In the video, I see someone who needs help, who’s vulnerable. It’s the shell of John Galliano. I see someone who’s been pushed to the edge.”