John Galliano

Fashion designer John Galliano in court with anti-Semitism accusers

Fashion designer John Galliano has faced his accusers at a local Paris police station, a couple who said he made anti-Semitic slurs - illegal in France - after a video emerged of the creator praising Adolf Hitler.

Today´s hearing was closed to the public but a police officer who had knowledge of it said of Galliano: "He denied all the accusations against him."

Also testifying were Galliano´s chauffeur and an employee of The Perle, the trendy Paris cafe where the insults were allegedly made. Both said they did not hear any anti-Semitic or racist remarks there.

Christian Dior has suspended Galliano, its creative director, pending an inquiry, citing its "zero-tolerance" policy on anti-Semitism. The fashion house is scheduled to present its autumn-winter 2011-2012 ready-to-wear show on Friday as part of Paris fashion week.

The Paris prosecutor´s office was expected to decide what follow-up there may be.

French officials said a hospital test showed Galliano had 1.1 milligrams of alcohol per litre of blood, more than twice the legal limit to drive in France, after the incident on Thursday reported by the couple as he sat alone sipping a mojito.

The long-haired Gibraltar-born designer, wearing a wide-brimmed black hat and earring, made no comment to reporters as he entered and left the police station.

Also testifying at today´s hearing was a 47-year-old woman who a police official said filed a complaint against Galliano on Saturday alleging he insulted her in a similar fashion at The Perle about four months ago.

Galliano´s lawyer, Stephane Zerbib, was dismissive of this accuser.

"We´re surprised by this new complaint, which exactly resembles the first ones. It´s not by chance," Zerbib said.

"It´s surprising that this person had not shown herself since October."

Today, a video posted on the website of British daily The Sun showed Galliano arguing with a couple at La Perle.

It was unclear when the video was recorded, but in it, he was dressed differently than on Thursday.

At one point in the video, starting in mid-conversation, a woman´s voice asks Galliano, "Are you blond, with blue eyes?"

Galliano, speaking in slurred speech, replied: "No, but I love Hitler, and people like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be ... gassed and ... dead."

The newspaper said neither of the people speaking with Galliano were Jewish.

Zerbib, Galliano´s lawyer, said he did not know when the video was filmed, and "there´s no comment on that. ... What matters isn´t what´s on the internet, what matters are the testimonies and the hearings."

Making anti-Semitic remarks can bring up to six months in prison. Some public figures have been convicted on such charges in the past, but are usually given only suspended sentences.

(Published by Herald Sun - March 1, 2011)

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  • 2/28/2011 - Dior designer Galliano will meet woman charging anti-Semitism, lawyer says – Click here.

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