John Galliano apologizes, will face trial over alleged anti-Semitic remarks
John Galliano has been ordered to stand trial on charges related to anti-Semitic remarks he's alleged to have made at a Paris restaurant last week, French prosecutors said Wednesday, even as the 50-year-old designer spoke out for the first time about recent events.
Galliano strongly denied the claims made against him, but said in a statement obtained by All the Rage that "I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light." (Read the full statement here.)
Suspended by fashion house Dior in the wake of a Thursday altercation in which anti-Semitic and anti-Asian remarks and threats of violence were alleged, Galliano was fired Tuesday after a 2010 video surfaced Monday in which the designer was saying, among other things, "I love Hitler."
Dior fragrance spokesmodel Natalie Portman, who won a best actress Oscar on Sunday, said Monday that "as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way."
On Wednesday the designer referred to "seeking help" and said "all I can hope for in time is to address the personal failure which led to these circumstances and try and earn people's forgiveness." Unnamed friends told the New York Times that Galliano had been persuaded to go to rehab. At Fashion Week, a spokesperson for the John Galliano clothing line declined to comment.
Galliano, who is British, was in Paris for Fashion Week. If convicted -- anti-Semitic speech is a crime in France -- he could face up to six months in prison and more than $30,000 in fines.
Dior's Paris runway show is still set for Friday; Galliano's line may or may not be seen Sunday.
-- Christie D'Zurilla
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Photo: John Galliano poses at the end of his Dior Haute Couture runway show during Paris Fashion Week in January 2010. Credit: Jacques Brinon / Associated Press