John Galliano found guilty of anti-Semitic behavior, given fine
John Galliano has been found guilty of making anti-Semitic comments, which had gotten him fired as head designer of French fashion house Christian Dior, and was fined 6,000 euros, or $8,400.
However, the fines were suspended for several years. Galliano, who is said to be worth millions, was also ordered to pay a total of 1 euro in symbolic damages to the plaintiffs.
Galliano's lawyer told CNN the designer was happy it was all over and was not present at the French court on Thursday, September 8, because he didn't want to face the media.
Dior suspended Galliano in February after he was detained for allegedly attacking a French couple verbally near a cafe. They say he had insulted them about being Jewish and mocked their appearance. Another woman later came forward, making similar claims about a separate incident she said occurred in the same venue in October 2010.
Days later, a video showing him praising Adolf Hitler during another incident was posted online and went viral.
Galliano was in June charged with "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity." French law prohibits public insults toward others because of their origins, race or religion. Israeli-born, Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman, who is a spokesmodel for Miss Dior Cherie perfume, said she was "shocked" and "disgusted" by the video, saying in a statement: "As an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way."
In March, Galliano was fired from Dior. He had been with the company for 14 years.
Galliano had testified in court that he remembers nothing about the anti-Semitic rant that got him fired and claimed his "triple addiction" to alcohol, barbiturates and sleeping pills were to blame.
Galliano has 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 had reported.
Galliano 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 had faced a potential sentence of six months in jail. The leniency of his sentence was due to his previous good behaviour, lack of criminal convictions and time he had spent in rehab for substance abuse following his arrest, the UK newspaper The Telegraph reported.
Galliano's replacement at Dior has not yet been announced. It was reported in August that designer Marc Jacobs is in talks to take over as head designer. He and Dior have not confirmed this.