Thursday, September 8, 2011

Former Dior designer found guilty

Flamboyant former Christian Dior designer John Galliano, fired in March by the fashion house, was found guilty by a Paris court of "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation race or ethnicity."

The evidence supporting the conviction was a video that surfaced, showing Galliano praising Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and committing further acts of racism and antisemitism in a Paris Cafe. Abusive comments were hurled at Geraldine Bloch, who he called a "dirty Jew" and insulted Philippe Virgitti with remarks about his ethnic background. The two incidents were blamed on drugs at the trial that started in June.

Aurelien Hamelle, Galliano's lawyer, told CNN his client was not surprised by the verdict. The erratic outbursts caught on tape were blamed on a dependency on alcohol, Valium and sleeping pills, or so his attorney is seeking to demonstrate through medical evidence. It is a time in his life he cannot recall.

Hamelle said a costly mistake was made by a man, "who for 30 years has been dedicated to diversity... a loving person of all races cultures and religions...". The French court rendered a suspended sentence of 6,000 euros ($8,335 CAD) in fines and no jail time, while sending a clear message to the world, that such behaviour will not be tolerated no matter who you are, famous or not.

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