Friday, March 4, 2011


Updated Tuesday 1 March 8.17am: Natalie Portman has condemned John Galliano, following the release of a video of him using anti-Semitic language. Portman, who is the face of Christian Dior's Miss Dior Cherie fragrance, is also Jewish.
"I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano's comments that surfaced today," the Oscar winner said in a statement released last night. "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."
Updated Monday 28 February 6.03pm: John Galliano attended a police station in Paris yesterday with his lawyer, Stephane Zerbib, and was questioned for four hours before being released. Zerbib said that Galliano was "in great shape" and maintained, despite the video's release, that he had "never made an anti-Semitic remark in more than ten years at Dior". Zerbib had no comment to make on the video itself, but asserted, "What matters isn't what's on the internet, what matters are the testimonies and the hearings". Making anti-Semitic remarks carries a prison sentence of up to six months in France, the Telegraph reports.
Updated Monday 28 February 5.28pm: Italian Vogue's Franca Sozzani has defended John Galliano for his videotaped outburst, stating that Galliano "was clearly provoked, and filmed while obviously inebriated". She also suggested that the woman who taped it might have done so for financial motives, NY Magazine reports.
Updated Monday 28 February 4.46pm: Giorgio Armani says he feels sorry for John Galliano. Following his autumn/winter 2011-12 show earlier today, the Italian designer told the Telegraph's Hilary Alexander, via an interpreter backstage, that he was sorry to hear what had happened to Galliano - acknowledging that it must be a difficult time for him - adding that he was sorry that Galliano had been videotaped without his knowledge.
Updated Monday 28 February 12.30pm: Another complaint alleging anti-Semitic remarks against John Galliano was filed on Saturday with Paris police, the designer's lawyer Stéphane Zerbib confirmed today. A second woman, as yet unnamed, has accused the designer, WWD reports, but it is not yet clear if the incident relates to the film which emerged today (see below for more information). Géraldine Bloch and her companion, Philippe Virgiti, filed charges against Galliano on Thursday - and the designer filed a counter-claim of defamation, injury and menace against Bloch and Virgiti later the same day.
Updated Monday 28 February 11.03am: Following the release of the video footage of John Galliano, we caught up with a representative for the label this morning: "As announced in Sidney Toledano's statement on Friday, John Galliano is suspended pending the results of the police investigation. We did the right thing corporately, which is to allow the police to investigate any new evidence that emerges. It's out of the company's hands - and with the police - and Galliano will be suspended until it is resolved. I know there have been rumours about a possible announcement today, but it's not something I can confirm."
Updated Monday 28 February 10.37am: A video has emerged of John Galliano, reportedly in the same bar where Thursday's incident took place, using anti-Semitic insults towards a group of friends drinking at a nearby table. The designer appears drunk in the film, taken on a mobile phone and released by the Sun this morning.
Updated Monday 28 February 8.48am: Rumours on the Milan front row this morning suggest that a Dior announcement about the fate of Galliano is imminent - and may even happen today. A decision this week would mean that Galliano will either be reinstated in time to take his famous bow at the end of the Christian Dior catwalk show next Friday, or will be absent from his first Dior show in 15 years.
Updated Sunday 27 February 2.36pm: John Galliano is set to come face to face with his the woman who has accused him of using anti-Semitic insults towards her, Géraldine Bloch. The meeting, organised by the Paris public prosecutor's office, is set to take place tomorrow night to get to the bottom of what really happened at the incident on Thursday night.

"They have to find out the truth," John Galliano's lawyer Stéphane Zerbib told WWD, adding it is impossible to determine how long the investigation will take and whether it will end up in court. "If the public prosecutor's office decides it is an emergency case, things could go very quickly."

Updated Saturday 26 February 10.02am: John Galliano is reportedly fighting back against allegations that he was heard making anti-Semetic and racist remarks to a couple in a Paris restaurant on Thursday night, accusing them of defamation. His lawyer added that he is "shocked" by his suspension from Christian Dior.

"He is not guilty and is not embroiled in a court case or anything," Zerbib told WWD. "He feels it is a decision that has been made without verification of the facts and based on one side of the story and he is very shocked about that."
Updated Friday 25 February 2.15pm: Christian Dior has confirmed that John Galliano has been suspended from his role with the company pending investigation.
"Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behaviour," Dior chief executive Sidney Toledano said in a statement which we received this afternoon. "Pending the results of the inquiry, Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his responsibilities."
Updated Friday 25 February 8.22am: John Galliano has been arrested for an alleged assault, as well as alleged anti-Semitic remarks, reports on international news agency AFP suggest today - but all may not be as it seems. We spoke to someone this morning who was in the cafe at the time of the altercation - and her story suggests Galliano may not have been at fault.
"We had a table at La Perle and John Galliano sat next to us," our eyewitness told us. "He spoke to a couple at a nearby table to say 'Cheers' and they insulted him. An argument started and the police came, so Galliano's bodyguard suggested that they should go to the police station to sort it out. He wasn't 'busted' aggressively by police, it was very quiet and peaceful. I definitely didn't hear him say anything anti-Semitic, or against any religion, it was all very calm."
Sources told AFP earlier this morning that the Christian Dior creative director was apprehended in Paris last night for assault, following an altercation in the city's Marais district. He was reportedly released by police this morning. The designer was allegedly accused of verbally abusing a couple who were sitting on a cafe terrace - and was found to have been drinking alcohol when he was arrested.
"For the moment we don't know what led him to address the couple," the police source said.
A Christian Dior spokesperson said this morning that the label does not have any official comment as yet.

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