Thursday, September 8, 2011


Court Convicts Galliano in Anti-Semitism Case
PARIS — John Galliano, the shamed British fashion designer whose career imploded in the aftermath of a videotaped anti-Semitic rant, was fined about $8,500 by a French court in connection with two incidents in a chic Parisian bar; the court then suspended the fine.

Mr. Galliano, 50, who stood before the panel of judges in a one-day trial in June, did not appear in court on Thursday to hear the verdict. The penalty was less than the $14,000 fine sought by the prosecutor, Anne de Fontette.

The charge of public insults for reasons of religion, race or ethnicity carried a maximum penalty of six months in jail and a $32,175 fine. The court said that it took into consideration Mr. Galliano’s apology for the outbursts and his decision to seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse in deciding his sentence. Mr. Galliano, who was fired as the creative director of Dior when the charges surfaced, had told the French court that he remembered nothing about the incidents, and at the time was debilitated by job stress and addiction to Valium and alcohol.
He condemned racism and anti-Semitism and apologized to the victims, saying he had experienced discrimination himself because of his homosexuality.
But the prosecutor had accused him of indulging in an ugly variety of “racism and anti-Semitism of the parking lot and the supermarket.”
The court fined Mr. Galliano $5,700 for an incident on Feb. 24 at La Perle, a bar in the historic Marais district of Paris, in which Mr. Galliano got into a dispute with a couple, one of whom was of Asian descent. During the trial in June, the couple recounted bizarre behavior by Mr. Galliano, who they said told them to “shut up” and then spewed insults about “dirty Jews” and Asians.
The remaining $2,800 of the fine stemmed from a similar incident with a woman at the same bar in October, which is located near Mr. Galliano’s home.
The suspension means that Mr. Galliano will not have to pay the fines unless he is accused of repeating the same type of hate crime. But he was also ordered to pay legal costs for several anti-racism groups which supported the accusers in the case.

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