Friends rush to defend Galliano as transcript appears online

27 February 2011

john galliano

On Friday, reports reached us of John Galliano's suspension from Christian Dior following an alleged
argument at a Parisian bar on Thursday night. Today, Women's Wear Daily states that the designer has filed a defamation claim against the couple who claimed he assaulted them.

Galliano's lawyer Stephane Zerbib told WWD that the designer provided police with three witness statements saying the comments were never uttered, including the account from Galliano's own chauffeur. ‘He is not guilty and is not embroiled in a court case or anything,’ Zerbib said. ‘He feels [the suspension from Dior] is a decision that has been made without verification of the facts and based on one side of the story and he is very shocked about that.’

French newspaper Le Figaro gained access to the police reports, revealing that the couple accusing Galliano of making anti-Semitic remarks are Geraldine Bloch, 35, and Philippe Virgiti, 41. The documents state that the incident started at around 9pm at La Perle in Paris' Third Arrondissement. Galliano allegedly said (based on the Huffington Post's translation of the report) 'You have low-end boots, disgusting thighs. You don't have hair, your eyebrows are ugly, you're disgusting' and finished with, ‘I am the designer John Galliano.' There were also allegedly several racist slurs and hair pulling. There is no reason given as to why the argument began. The Huffington Post have posted a translation of the transcript from Le Figaro, which can be read here.

The female involved recounted the incident to Europe1 on Friday, although she requested to remain anonymous. 'I was sitting with a friend and the table next to us was open,' she said. 'A bizarre guy sat down, ordered a mojito and started to tell me I was a b****.'

Meanwhile, a handful of witnesses say they never heard the anti-Semitic remarks at all. And a source who has worked closely with the designer on several projects told The Cut he ‘can't imagine [Galliano] would do this to anyone,’ adding, ‘I'm an observant Jew, and I know from my own experiences with him that there's no way he hates Jewish people. He's incredibly gentle.’

- Jessica Vince


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