04 May 2011
The disgraced British fashion designer John Galliano has reportedly sacked his lawyer Stéphane Zerbib, who he had hired in March in order to battle charges of anti-Semitism. Rumors had been circulating that Zerbib, who gave an interview to an Israeli newspaper in March defending Galliano as neither "a racist or an anti-Semite", had quit. However, a spokesperson for the former Dior designer insisted that Zerbib had been "dismissed as Mr. Galliano's lawyer some weeks ago". In the interview with the Israeli online newspaper ‘YNet’, Zerbib dismissed the video in which the British designer is heard saying "I love Hitler" as worthless, and added that the Galliano he knew was "polite, courteous, very human."
Zerbib's appointment raised eyebrows, not least because many thought it was a cynical ruse on the designer's part to win favor with the Jewish community: Zerbib is Jewish, although he claimed he had been Galliano's lawyer for the past seven years. It is thought that Galliano has retained the services of a British law firm.
The designer was dismissed from his role as creative director at Christian Dior in March, and from his eponymous label, of which Dior owns 91 per cent, last month, after allegedly making racist remarks to a couple in February. He issued a statement denying the claims, but is facing prosecution by French authorities.
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