Almost four months to the day that John Galliano was arrested for allegedly assaulting a couple in Paris, the designer has just arrived in court at the Palais de Justice, where he is on trial for making anti-Semitic remarks.
Dressed in a three-piece suit, black brogues and a black and white polka dot scarf, Galliano looks solemn and certainly less outre than usual. His hair is blonde and straight, and his trademark pencil moustache is still apparent, though his face and neck are sullen.
It’s thought his defence will attribute his anti-Semitic remarks to his long-standing battle with substance abuse and triple addition to alcohol, Valium and sleeping pills, which has subsequently made him ill.
“One obvious thing is that John Galliano was ill,” his lawyer Aurelien Hamelle told the Telegraph. “He had a triple addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepine (Valium) and sleeping pills … The combined effect of these drugs is a state of complete and utter abandon. When he was in that state he had no way of knowing or remembering what he said.”
While we do sympathise with Galliano’s valium use and its long-term effect, If found guilty, Galliano could face a fine of 22,500 euros (£20,122.75) and up to six months in prison, though it’s thought unlikely that he’ll serve a jail sentence.
Plaintiff Geraldine Bloch, one half of the couple Galliano verbally assaulted, is seeking just one euro in compensation on moral grounds. “What we are after is an expression of regret and excuses for what has happened,” her lawyer said before entering the court today.
Her partner, Philippe Virgitti, however, is seeking compensation on the basis of ‘moral damage’. “Unfortunately Mr Galliano doesn’t seem to have a code of honour, so my client feels the only way to reach him is through his wallet,” said his lawyer.
The trial is expected to last for up to five hours – we’ll keep you updated as the case unfolds…