John Galliano doesn't remember anti-Semitic rant, says he has 'a triple addiction'
Fashion Designer John Galliano testified in court on Wednesday that he remembers nothing about the anti-Semitic rant that got him fired from French fashion house Christian Dior and claimed his "triple addiction" to alcohol, barbiturates and sleeping pills were to blame.
Galliano, 50, apologized for the February diatribe, saying these were not his views but instead reflect "the shell of John Galliano ... someone who needs help," the Associated Press reported.
In March, Galliano was fired by Christian Dior after 14-years with the company after a video was posted online, showing him praising Adolf Hitler. At the time, Dior said that Galliano had been laid off immediately.
"I have a triple addiction. I'm a recovering alcoholic and a recovering addict," Galliano testified when asked why he couldn't remember the incident. He said he started drinking in 2007 and became addicted to alcohol, barbiturates and sleeping pills.
Following his detention by police in February, the fashion designer underwent rehabilitation treatment in Arizona and Switzerland.
"After every creative high, I would crash and the alcohol helped me," Galliano said, adding that his creativity "helped make Dior a billion-dollar business."
When asked why he didn't tell police about his addictions upon his arrest, the designer said: "I was in denial. I was still taking those pills and alcohol, and I was in complete denial."
Galliano is charged with "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" and faces up to six months in prison and up to $32,175 in fines.
French law prohibits public insults toward others because of their origins, race or religion. The verdict is expected at a later date, but the prosecutors have asked for a fine of no less than $14,400.
"All my life I've fought against prejudice and intolerance and discrimination because I have been subjected to it myself," Galliano said. "I apologize for the sadness that this affair has caused and I apologize to the court as well."
Before the announcement by Dior, Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman, who is a spokesmodel for Miss Dior Cherie perfume, said she was "shocked" and "disgusted" by the video.
"As an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way," Portman said in a statement provided to the Associated Press at the time.
The Sun posted a video online showing a seemingly drunken Galliano telling a café patron, "I love Hitler."
The British designer went on to say, "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be [expletive] gassed."