Article by Max Read
The trial of fashion designer John Galliano, who was fired from his own label earlier this year over charges that he made anti-Semitic comments to a woman at a French bar, starts this week in Paris—and the new details emerging aren’t pretty.
It wasn’t just the one incident in February that got Galliano fired; it’s been alleged that the designer had thrown around anti-Semitic slurs (“People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be fucking gassed”) on at least two other occasions—at the same bar, no less. But on the night in question, the police were called, charges were filed (it’s illegal to make public anti-Semitic statements in France), and the allegations were extensively documented.
And according to Géraldine Bloch, the art curator who was the subject of Galliano’s alleged outburst, we’re not talking a tossed-off insult or drunkly slurred sentence, but a sustained barrage of misogynistic, racist bullshit, including:
- Calling Bloch a “dirty whore”
- Telling her she had a “dirty Jewish face”
- Mocking her “revolting” eyebrows
- Sneering at her “low-end boots and low-end thighs”
- Pulling her hair
- Calling her companion (receptionist Philippe Virgitti) a “fucking Asian bastard” and “a dirty Asian shit”
Galliano was apparently tanked: His blood-alcohol content, as measured by the police, was four times the legal driving limit. (According to Newsweek, he’s expected to invoke “dueling addictions to booze and anti-anxiety medicine” in his defense.) But apparently these outbursts were common enough that his driver and a security guard were unfazed when he unloaded on Bloch:
By the time Galliano got to La Perle that February night, his antics were so well known to the people who worked around him that when the “f—k you”s began to fly, his driver, watching from the sidelines, calmly called a lawyer and tried to put him on the phone with Bloch to calm her down or warn her off. She refused, and when she complained, a security guard told her it was Galliano and that she could just change seats, according to the dossier.
Socialite Daphne Guinness tells Newsweek that “[t]he whole thing struck me as completely out of character.” But not so out of character that it bothered the driver or the security guard, it seems.