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

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.”

Of course, he also denied making the remarks in the first place — and then was forced to recant after a video of one particularly surreal statement went viral on YouTube.

The date of the verdict has not yet been announced.

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

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

Thank you!

This article has been sent!