Galliano faces trial as Dior forges ahead with show

Thu Mar 3, 2011 7:52am EST
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By Astrid Wendlandt

PARIS (Reuters) - Disgraced fashion designer John Galliano will stand trial over accusations he issued racist insults in public which have already cost him his job at couture house Christian Dior and prompted him to apologies "unreservedly" on Wednesday.

Dior said it would go ahead with its Paris Fashion Week show after it fired Galliano for his "odious" behavior on a widely viewed video showing the former chief designer expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler.

French prosecutors said on Wednesday they had charged Galliano with making racist comments in public to three people, an offence that carries a sentence of up to six months in prison and a 22,500-euro ($31,240) fine.

The charges relate to two separate incidents. The most recent happened on Thursday and the first in October.

The fallen star, who has worked for Dior since 1996, said in a statement that anti-Semitism and racism "have no part in our society" and "unreservedly" apologized for causing any offence.

The video surfaced after the accusations were made public and raced across the Internet. It shows Galliano in a bar wearing a grey hat and slurring anti-Semitic insults into the camera.

Galliano's lawyer said during a television interview on Wednesday that he was not standing trial for the video.

"This video, nobody knows under which conditions it was made, if Mr Galliano was provoked or insulted before, nobody knows the context," Stephane Zerbib said in an interview on France's Canal Plus channel.   Continued...

<p>Fashion designer John Galliano (C) and his lawyer Stephane Zerbib (L) arrive for a hearing at a police station in Paris February 28, 2011. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes</p>