Galliano faces fine for drunk anti-Semitic insults

Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:26pm EDT
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By Nick Vinocur

PARIS (Reuters) - A French prosecutor wants the fashion designer John Galliano to pay 10,000 euros ($14,350) in damages to people at whom he allegedly hurled anti-Semitic abuse in a drunken outburst that has wrecked a towering career.

Prosecutor Anne de Fontette said she wanted the 50-year-old Briton to pay up to 5,000 euros for each plaintiff in two cases brought to trial on Wednesday.

No prison sentence is being sought, and the trial verdict is due on September 8.

Galliano, an enfant terrible of fashion with a huge celebrity following, told the court in Paris he had been so out of control on drink and drugs that he could not recall hurling insults at strangers in a bar in recent months.

Looking thinner than in his last public appearance but still sporting his trademark razor-thin mustache, long sandy hair and leather trousers, Galliano stood as a judge read the charges.

The judge also read phrases he allegedly uttered in a February 24 incident in Paris including "dirty Jewish face," "f****** Asian b****** I will kill you," and "f****** ugly Jewish b****."

Asked whether he remembered the insults, Galliano said: "I don't remember very well ... I have no recollection," adding: "I have a triple addiction. Alcohol, sleeping pills and Valium."

He later added: "I would like to apologize if my behavior caused so much sadness ... to the victims, to the court. I've always condemned racism and anti-Semitism in all its forms."   Continued...