John Galliano trial was held yesterday, June 22 in Paris. Following the incident in the Paris café on February 28, 2011 after which flamboyant designer has been arrested he was accused for anti-Semitism and racism. John was also fired by house of Dior the next day after the arrest. To date, John Galliano scandal is the loudest in the history of fashion.
First reports regarding the pace of the trial has appeared in press.
John appeared in court with the team of his lawyers and an interpreter. It was reported that he was dressed in rather reserved outfit if compared to his usual wear, however one could still say this was a man of fashion and art by his tie over the bare skin and long hair.
All witnesses spoke out in details describing Galliano behaviour and singling out offensive words he said under the influence of alcohol. What exactly he said, please read and watch here.
Galliano was given time to speak out his testimony. To our biggest surprise, all his testimony was directed towards turning jury into pity. He talked about his story with alcohol that began in 2007 and turned into addiction after tragic death of his best friend Steven Robinson. He testified that he is battling a “triple addition” to alcohol, Valium and sleeping pills. After a decade of his Dior tenure Galliano faced an immense pressure from corporation to not only produce several collections a year for both Dior and John Galliano label, but also promote it actively in the wake of financial crisis. In fact the pressure was so high that following his father death in 2005 he had to go back to work straight from the crematorium. His scandalistic behaviour in public places was not rare and knowing that he is famous, basically iconic figure, he was often provoked to say things he didn’t really mean. It is an undeniable fact that his love of Hitler came out in such public encounters with strangers several times. There are testimonies from direct plaintiffs and there is a video confirming the fact.
His lawyer Aurélien Hamelle argued that the video should be left out as evidence as Galliano spoke quietly and it should not be considered “public” speech.
The biggest surprise in all this trial is the lawyer team took defensive approach. Galliano has never apologized and now when lawyers are arguing against the video it is clear that apology will not come during the trial. If only Galliano would do what other celebrities did in similar cases, the whole trial would not be as public. If convicted all he will be facing is maximum $30,000 fine and six months in prison. Prison term is unlikely.
In a course of this defensive approach Galliano lost his job at Dior, was cut from the creative team of his own John Galliano label, faced the most negative press coverage by all national publications and even fashion press. All of this could have been minimized by a simple, public apology. Is it a matter of principle or a matter of a few thousand dollar fine? Is it worth a career?
The verdict is to be decided by September 8, 2011.