France: Galliano apology fails to stop trial
Despite his apology yesterday, it seems disgraced designer John Galliano’s fortunes remain unchanged.
On the advice of his lawyer the British designer kept quiet after he was sacked as creative director of Christian Dior on Wednesday.
But no sooner had he issued an “unreserved” apology in which he accepted that accusations of anti-Semitism made against him had “greatly shocked and upset people”, he learnt that prosecutors in Paris had decided to put him on trial over the affair.
The designer, who continues to deny the allegations, was suspended from his position at the French fashion house last week after allegedly attacking a couple sitting on a cafe terrace in Paris.
Film later emerged of a separate incident which appeared to show him abusing drinkers in the same bar and telling them he loved Hitler.
Minutes after Galliano broke his silence, prosecutors in Paris announced he would stand trial some time between April and June, and he could face up to six months in prison and €22,500 ($41,900) in fines if convicted.
In his statement, Galliano said that delays in his case had led him to speak out. He claimed there would be witnesses who had told police that he was verbally abused and subjected to an “unprovoked assault” during the incident last Friday, and that an assailant had tried to hit him with a chair.
“For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me,” he said. “However, I fully accept that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people.
“I must take responsibility for … allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light. I know that I must face up to my own failures and that I must work hard to gain people’s understanding and compassion.”
His future remains uncertain, however, with the news of his dismissal from Dior, one of the most prized jobs in the fashion business. His dismissal has raised the inevitable questions about his successor. Pundits are looking to other big names on the fashion scene, but it’s more likely that Dior bosses will look on the Paris circuit for their next star.