Galliano probed over anti-Semitic rant

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

The 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 cafe in Paris where the insults were allegedly made, the official said, but both reported they did not hear any anti-Semitic or racist remarks there.

Christian Dior has suspended Galliano, its creative director, pending an investigation, citing its “zero-tolerance” policy on anti-Semitism.

The fashion house is scheduled to present its fall-winter 2011-2012 ready-to-wear show on Friday as part of Paris fashion week.

The Paris prosecutor's office was expected to decide, possibly today what follow-up there may be.

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

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.

During yesterday’s hearing, a 47-year-old woman also testified. She had filed a complaint against Galliano on Saturday claiming that she was insulted in a similar fashion by the designer at The Perle about four months ago, according to a police official.

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

Yesterday a video posted on the website of 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."

More in this section


Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox