The Shmooze

The Drugs Made Me Say It: John Galliano’s Hate Speech Defense

By Nathan Burstein

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It was the alcohol and drugs talking, not John Galliano.

That’s the defense being used, predictably, by the English fashion designer, who went on trial in Paris today for anti-Semitic rants made at a restaurant in the French capital in October and February. The comments qualify as criminal hate speech in France, where Galliano faces up to six months in prison and a fine of roughly $32,400.

Galliano, who was fired as the creative director at Christian Dior in March, has repeatedly apologized for the comments, and reportedly entered rehab after being caught on camera declaring, “I love Hitler.” He described himself in court as “a recovering alcoholic, a recovering addict,” and hopes, in his lawyer’s words, to “rebuild himself professionally and personally.” The designer, who is gay, denied being a bigot, telling the court, “I do not have these [anti-Semitic] views, and I have never held them.”

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Galliano Loses Jewish Lawyer

By Nathan Burstein

Getty Images

The Shmooze is shocked — shocked! — to report that an anti-Semite and his Jewish lawyer have parted ways.

Depending on your source, Jewish attorney Stephane Zerbib has either quit working for British fashion designer John Galliano — or Galliano fired him. An unnamed source claims Zerbib “had enough” from Galliano, who was fired by the Christian Dior fashion label in March for an anti-Semitic outburst that went viral on YouTube.

But a Galliano spokeswoman claims the opposite is true, and that Galliano dismissed Zerbib weeks ago due to “apparent irregularities in respect to … financial affairs.” (Side note: even if this is true, and we’re interested to see the evidence, accusing a Jewish employee of financial misconduct may not help Galliano rehabilitate his image.

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