Former Dior fashion designer John Galliano defended himself against hate-crime charges in Paris, saying that because of his a triple addiction to alcohol, sleeping pills and Valium he could not remember spewing anti-Semitic insults.
The Associated press reports:
Galliano is on trial for allegedly spewing anti-Semitic and racist remarks at strangers at a Paris cafe in two separate incidents. Facing charges of “public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity” he could face up to six months in prison and up to euro22,500 ($32,175) in fines.
The prosecutors asked Wednesday for a fine of no less than euro10,000 ($14,400), but did not ask for jail time. A verdict is due Sept. 8.
In emotional testimony, the soft-spoken designer insisted he doesn’t remember having made any anti-Semitic or racist rants, but acknowledged he was lost to alcohol and drug addictions when the alleged incidents took place, in February and late last year.
The 50-year-old designer has tangled with addiction before, but the latest bout started in 2007, as the global financial crisis forced labels to fight for their very lives. As Galliano’s workload both at luxury supernova Christian Dior – where he had worked since 1996 – and at his small signature John Galliano label increased, he told the court he sought refuge in pills and alcohol.
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