John Galliano sentenced over anti-Semitic rant

John Galliano, the British fashion designer, has admitted to making anti-Semitic remarks while in a restaurant in Paris and been given suspended fines which total 6000 euros, or £4,250. The designer, who has since been fired by the French fashion giant Dior over the affair, said that he had absolutely no recollection of the two events in questions, and vehemently denied that he was a racist.

The one day trial was held in June and Galliano apologized for his behavior and blamed his addictions to drugs and alcohol for the outbursts, and also for his subsequent inability to recall them. The prosecutors had asked that he be fined 10,000 euros, £8,800. Speaking from Paris for the BBC, Christine Fraser, said that the money was unimportant, it was the damage to Galliano’s reputation and career that many be irreversible.

One correspondent in Paris said that the judges thought that Galliano was a man who should be given help not a fine. A lawyer representing Galliano spoke after the ruling saying that his client was hugely relieved that the past eight months were behind him and that he was now looking to the future and hoped that he would, in time, be afforded understanding and forgiveness and be able to put it all behind him.

Galliano did not appear at his sentencing, but in a written statement said he was undergoing treatment for his addictions. In additions to the fines, he was ordered to make a symbolic payment in euros to each of his victims, and also to the 5 anti-racism groups who were the initial complainants. He also had to pay the plaintiffs’ legal costs.

The fines were related to two separate incidents at the La Perle café in Paris on the evenings of October 8 2010 and February 24 2011. In the February incident, Galliano was heard to harangue a museum curator, Geraldine Bloch for being Jewish. He also hurled racist remarks at her friend, who is from South Africa.

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