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John Galliano Suspended from Christian Dior After Arrest for Alleged Anti-Semitic Remarks

>> Last night at 9 pm, French police briefly detained John Galliano for alleged assault and making anti-Semitic remarks at a Paris cafe. According to a police source: "We arrived extremely quickly and managed to break up the disturbance. The man involved [Galliano] was briefly arrested and then released pending charges for assault. Witnesses said he swore heavily, using anti-Jewish insults, before attacking a couple. Both have provided witness statements, as have a number of other people at the bar, including staff." It was the couple — a man and woman — who filed the complaint.

In response, Dior has suspended Galliano. House CEO Sidney Toledano said in a statement: "Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-Semitic or racist words or behaviour. Pending the results of the inquiry, Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his responsibilities."

According to police, Galliano was under the influence of alcohol at the time — 1.01 milligrams of alcohol per liter of exhaled air (the legal limit in France for driving is 0.5 mg/L). An eyewitness tells Vogue UK: "We had a table at [the Paris cafe] La Perle and John Galliano sat next to us. He spoke to a couple at a nearby table to say 'Cheers' and they insulted him. An argument started and the police came, so Galliano's bodyguard suggested that they should go to the police station to sort it out. He wasn't 'busted' aggressively by police, it was very quiet and peaceful. I definitely didn't hear him say anything anti-Semitic, or against any religion, it was all very calm."

Another, more-detailed eyewitness account can be read here.

Galliano's lawyer says the designer "formally denies the accusations of anti-Semitism made against him. [He] is not at all in this state of mind [and] will explain later. Legal action will be taken against those making such accusations."

The Fall 2011 Dior show Galliano was working on is scheduled to take place March 4, and his signature collection's show is on the Paris Fashion Week calendar for March 6; the fate of those events has not been addressed. The alleged remarks also bring under question Natalie Portman's relationship with Dior — the Israeli-born, Jewish actress is the current face of the Miss Dior Cherie perfume and is rumored to be wearing a Christian Dior dress to the Oscars.

A Paris police spokesman, meanwhile, confirmed that Galliano is facing criminal charges and would appear in court on a date to be fixed.

 

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