John Galliano Says Drugs, Alcohol Were Behind His Anti-Semitic Remarks

The fashion designer testified in court on Wednesday that he was unable to remember any of his rants at a Paris bar because of his addiction.
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Fashion designer John Galliano testified in court on Wednesday, saying that his addiction to pills and alcohol kept him from fully remembering any use of his anti-Semitic and racist slurs during two occasions while at a Paris bar, the Los Angeles Times reports.

It was his outbursts -- which is against French law to incite racial discrimination, hatred or violence -- that left Galliano out of a job at Christian Dior and his own fashion label. (Christian Dior condemned his "deeply offensive statements and conduct.")

A complaint was filed by Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti against Galliano after a late February scuffle at the Paris bar, La Perle. Other plaintiffs included a woman who claimed that Galliano insulted her with anti-Semitic statements at La Perle in October 2010.

The trial, which began Wednesday, included a video of Galliano saying “I love Hitler” and, “Your mother, your forefather would be f---ing gassed and f---ing dead.”

The designer testified in court that he didn’t recognize the person seen on tape slurring those statements.

“I’m apologizing because that man you see up there is not John Galliano,” he said in court on Wednesday. “I have no recollection of those events. I read about them afterwards.”

Galliano said in court that his addiction started some time in 2007, when the pressure serving as chief designer at Dior became overwhelming.

“After every creative high, I would crash, and the drinking would help to escape,” Galliano said. “My body was becoming used to the pills so my intake increased to an amount where I actually can’t remember how many I was taking. I had to sleep, so I would take sleeping pills to sleep and sometimes I took sleeping pills in the day.”

The designer noted that he was victimized for being gay.

If convicted, Galliano could face six months in jail and a $32,000 fine for discriminatory remarks.

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