The disgraced designer blames drink and drugs as public insult hearing kicks off
Disgraced designer John Galliano will blame his anti-Semitic remarks on an addiction to antidepressants and alcohol, rather than any racist motives, as his Paris trial kicks off today.
It’s understood that Galliano’s defence rests on claims that he ‘lost all reason’ after popping prescription tablets ‘like candy’ as his case begins for hurling racist abuse at three people during an altercation in a Paris café earlier this year.
The flamboyant British designer, who was swiftly sacked from his post as Creative Director of fashion house Christian Dior, says that he’s fighting an addiction to Valium, sleeping pills and alcohol that made him ‘ill’.
He’s believed to be in a rehabilitation centre somewhere in Europe, following treatment for addiction in the US, but will attend the criminal court hearing in Paris today.
The troubled designer’s lawyer, Aurelien Hamelle, told the press in France that he was in an ‘altered state’ at the time of the events and that he is ‘not racist or anti-Semitic’.
Paris prosecutors, meanwhile, insist that the 50-year-old is a racist and if they win the case and he is found guilty of a public insult offence, the fallen designer could face a prison term of up to six months and a fine of £20,000.
In a nightmare few months for Galliano, the disgraced designer was initially suspended by Christian Dior while French police investigated allegations of anti-Semitic abuse following the café incident, in which Galliano allegedly hurled anti-Jewish insults at Géraldine Bloch and her companion Philippe Virgiti.
Galliano denied the allegations and counter-sued the couple for defamation. However, he was then sacked by the fashion house amidst mounting claims once a video surfaced on the internet showing the designer declaring his love for Hitler to a group of girls in another cafe.
The trial is expected to last for one day.