The fallen designer finally takes to the stand as public insult trial begins
The usually flamboyant 50-year-old, who was dressed in a sombre suit and a polka dot silk tie, told the Paris court that he had ‘no recollection’ of the now infamous altercation with three people in a café in the city earlier this year, due to an addiction to Valium, sleeping pills and alcohol.
The Palais de Justice heard Galliano talk of the ‘billion dollar business’ and ‘moneymaking machine’ that the two fashion brands he led – Christian Dior and his own eponymous label – had become, the stress of which made him turn to drink and prescription drugs.
Galliano said: ‘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 that things got so bad he ‘couldn’t go to work unless I had taken some Valium’.
The designer, who has had rehabilitation treatment for his problems, also blamed the deaths of his close friend and business partner, Steven Robinson, and his father on his spiralling addiction.
Galliano is charged with a public insult offence after allegedly hurling anti-Semitic abuse at Géraldine Bloch and her companion Philippe Virgiti, as well as a third person during the Paris bar incident. If found guilty, he could face a prison term of up to six months and a fine of £20,000.
A verdict is due on the 8th September.