Fashion house Dior suspends its chief designer over alleged anti-Jewish remarks

27 February 2011

The French fashion house Dior has suspended its chief designer John Galliano after he was briefly held by police for allegedly attacking a couple and accusing a woman of being a "dirty Jew-face". Dior Chief Executive Sidney Toledano, who is Jewish, said Galliano would be relieved of his responsibilities until an investigation into the incident was completed. "Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behavior.” The British designer was detained by police in a predominantly Jewish neighborhood in Paris on Thursday night, following the incident. Galliano, who police said had been drinking “quite heavily”, reportedly made the anti-Semitic comment and also offended other customers in the bar with racist and sexist slurs. Police released him after questioning.

Galliano's lawyer Stephane Zerbib told WWD that the designer had filed a claim of defamation and injury against the couple and told police that he never made any anti-Semitic or racist comments. Zerbib declared Galliano was "shocked" that Dior had suspended him: “He is not guilty and is not embroiled in a court case or anything. He feels it 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."

However, the British newspaper 'The Sun' released a video filmed with a cellphone in the same Paris bar on a different day in which Galliano apparently tells a woman: "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed."He also expressed admiration for Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.

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