February 24, 2011
News of designer John Galliano’s arrest that Thursday night hit the web and readers were astounded to hear he was being charged with assault and anti-semitic statements (the latter is a considered a crime in France with a punishment of up to six months in jail).
According to the AFP, French police “briefly detained Galliano on Thursday evening in Paris' fashionable Marais district after he allegedly verbally accosted a couple in a bar.” Telegraph.co.uk reports that “Witnesses said he swore heavily, using anti-Jewish insults, before attacking a couple. Both have provided witness statements, as have a number of other people at the bar, including staff.”
The designer was found to have had 1.1 milligrams of alcohol per liter of blood, which is “more than twice the legal limit to drive in France,” writes Jamey Keaten of the Associated Press.
February 25, 2011
Christian Dior suspended its design director from his job functions. just a week before Paris Fashion Week with chief executive Sidney Toledano issuing the statement: “Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behaviour” (DeccanHerald.com).
Meanwhile, “Galliano's lawyer Stephane Zerbib said two complaints had been filed with police against his client for making racist or anti-Semitic comments—a crime in France—but he said Galliano "firmly and formally" denied doing so” (Reuters).
NYMag released the article, "What Really Happened With John Galliano Last Night?," summarizing the events of the night as recounted bythe alleged victim, who preferred to remain anonymous, and other eyewitnesses. The magazine also quoted a source who has worked with the designer on several projects saying, "'I'm an observant Jew, and I know from my own experiences with him that there's no way he hates Jewish people. He's incredibly gentle.'
February 26, 2011
Katya Foreman of Women's Wear Daily (WWD) reported that John Galliano "filed a claim of defamation and injury against the couple – identified on Le Figaro’s Web site as Géraldine Bloch, 35, and Philippe Virgiti, 41." The designer provided three witness testimonies, including that of his personal driver, in his defense to the Paris police. His lawyer claimed that the designer was shocked about Dior's decision to suspend him.
February 28, 2011
A video emerged via The Sun showing the British designer declaring that he loves Hitler, going on to tell the woman, whose voice is heard talking to him, “People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed” (The Sun).
Hours later, Galliano, wearing a wide-brimmed black hat, arrived at the Paris police station to face the accusations of the French couple against him (AP).
Meanwhile, Natalie Portman, the newest endorser of Miss Dior Cherie fragrance, issued a statement saying, “I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful” (Cathy Horyn, The New York Times).
Ever since the Jewish actress was named the face of the perfume in January, it was expected that she would be wearing Dior to the Oscars this year. However, in light of recent news, she opted to wear Rodarte instead (OverOll.com).
March 1, 2011
CNN televised a report on the scandal, giving a rundown of what happened together with an excerpt of the video of The Sun. Towards the end of the report, Natalie Portman is seen being asked for her opinion about the scandal after the Oscars, but her people interrupted before she was able to comment any further.
"Paris – March 1, 2011
Following the allegations of anti-Semitic statements that resulted in John Galliano being questioned by police on Thursday, February 24, Christian Dior immediately suspended its relationship with its designer, pending the outcome of the police investigation.
Today, in light of the deeply offensive statements and conduct by John Galliano in a video made public yesterday, Christian Dior has commenced termination proceedings against him.
Sidney Toledano, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Christian Dior Couture, said: “I unequivocally condemn the statements made by John Galliano which are in total contradiction to the longstanding core values of Christian Dior”.
[Ed Note: It is our understanding that the statements were translated from French, which accounts for the discrepancy in wording.]"
Suzy Menkes wrote in the New York Times that "friends of Mr. Galliano, who would speak only on condition of anonymity, say that they have finally persuaded the troubled designer to go immediately into rehab" and "that the designer would fight his dismissal from Dior and now has retained the London lawyer Gerrard Tyrrell, of Harbottle and Lewis, who represented the model Kate Moss in 2005 when she was accused of cocaine use." Watch the video of her report from Paris here >>
Galliano faces anti-Semitism accusations in Paris, Jamey Keaten, Associated Press
Dior suspends Galliano after anti-Semitic remarks, DeccanHerald.com
Natalie Portman Condemns Galliano, Cathy Horyn, The New York Times
Galliano's Departure From Dior Ends a Wild Fashion Ride, Suzy Menkes, The New York Times