John Galliano Found Guilty of Making Anti-Semitic Slurs

By Sara Dover and Kelly O'Reilly
|  Thursday, Sep 8, 2011  |  Updated 7:31 AM PDT
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A Paris court slapped designer John Galliano with a suspended fine of 6,000 Euro ($8,400) for making anti-Semitic insults.

The conviction comes on the first day of fashion week in New York City, nearly seven months after the former Christian Dior designer was arrested for making the racist remarks on the eve of fashion week in Paris. He is also ordered to pay a symbolic one Euro to one of the plaintiffs in the case, The Associated Press reports.

Galliano, who was not present at the conviction,  was given no jail time and will not have to pay the fee-- it will just go on his criminal record. In France, conviction of insult based on one's origin or creed carries a maximum penalty of six months' jail time and a fine up to $32,000 (22,500 Euro).

The judge said the court found Galliano had "sufficient awareness of his act despite his addiction and his fragile state," according to The Associated Press. The court also took the fashion giant's apology into account and noted the "values of tolerance" in his work.

The fashion world was shocked when video of the British designer drunkenly lashing out at a couple in a Paris cafe on February 24. After a second accuser came forward about another incident of verbal abuse, LVMH (the parent company of both Dior and Galliano's own label) sacked their head designer, sighting "its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behavior." A succesor has yet to be named.

Galliano's lawyers argued that the designer was "ill" and struggling with an addiction to alcohol, Valium, and sleeping pills, when he made the comments. He checked into rehab shortly after the incident and reportedly told the court: “I can see that this whole affair has caused a lot of upset and sadness. I apologize because that man you see up there is not John Galliano ... I cannot answer for that man because I don’t know him."

As for Galliano's future in fashion, LVMH chief Bernard Arnault has made it clear that the designer will not be returning to LVMH. Galliano has not, however, been blacklisted from the world of fashion: He was featured quite prominently in Vogue's spread on Kate Moss's wedding (he designed her gown), which would seem a positive indicator for him to make a return in some capacity in the years to come.
 

Selected Reading: The New York Times, CNN, E! Online

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