Galliano convicted, fined for anti-Semitic slurs
Published Thursday, September 8, 2011 9:42AM EDT
Disgraced fashion designer John Galliano was convicted by a Paris court on Thursday of uttering anti-Semitic remarks following two incidents earlier this year in a French cafe.
The three-judge panel handed down a suspended sentence of E6,000 (C$8,268), rejecting Galliano's explanation that he was drunk and overworked at the time of his much-publicized outbursts.
The court ruled Galliano had "sufficient awareness of his act despite his addiction and his fragile state" but took into account his apologies and the "values of tolerance" visible in his work.
The British designer was not present as the verdict was delivered. Galliano had faced up to six months in prison and more than E21,300 (C$29,300) in fines following two separate outbursts earlier this year in a French cafe.
One incident, caught on video and released by the British tabloid The Sun, showed Galliano drunkenly slurring "I love Hitler" to a café patron.
The charges and resulting scandal shocked the fashion world and cost Galliano his high-profile job at the Christian Dior fashion house. Celebrity attendance at Dior's spring fashion show was noticeably scant in the wake of the charges.
During his one-day trial in June, a contrite and humbled Galliano told the court he doesn't remember the incident because of his addiction to alcohol, barbiturates and sleeping pills.
"I have a triple addiction. I'm a recovering alcoholic and a recovering addict," he said. He added that his workload and the deaths of both his father and a close friend contributed to his outbursts.
Galliano apologized for his behaviour. He also rejected any suggestion he was fundamentally racist, saying the multi-cultural basis of his work spoke for itself. Galliano, 50, was born Juan Carlos Galliano to a Spanish mother in the British Iberian enclave of Gibraltar.
Shortly after the incidents he went into rehabilitative treatment in Arizona and later in Switzerland.
Asked about Galliano's future plans, Galliano's lawyer said only that his client is relieved and "looking forward to the future." "He will continue to care for himself," said Aurelien Hamelle.
French law prohibits public insults toward others because of their origins, race or religion. The suspended sentence means the verdict will go on his criminal record but Galliano is not required to pay the fine.
With files from Associated Press