>> John Galliano is going to trial in Paris — and the date is expected to be determined on May 12. One of his three accusers, Philippe Virgiti, meanwhile, seems to be having second thoughts about his allegations — following his mandated meeting on Feb. 28 with Galliano at a Paris police station, he reportedly decided to drop his complaint against the designer . . . before reinstating it again the next morning.
Then, last Thursday, Virgiti gave an interview to Le Parisien, confirming that Galliano did make anti-Semitic comments, but stipulating: "I'm not convinced now that he really meant them. I don't think he is racist or anti-Semitic. I just think he's very ill."
Virgiti continued: “Today, I am convinced that he didn’t really believe what he was saying. Since this all happened, I have enquired about his work and saw that he is somebody who promoted difference and who mixed cultures in his fashion shows. I believe, above all, that he is very sick and was just out to provoke.”
Furthermore: "For me it was a simple bar dispute. We were having a beer when he sat beside us. He got aggressive, turned to my friend [and fellow accuser] and said, 'Your voice is annoying me, you're speaking too loudly.' John Galliano does not deserve this. I do not want him to be destroyed like that. I would like Mr. Galliano to benefit from this unhappy story by drinking a little less and getting back to making the dresses and shows that he did so well."
Virgiti added that he has no choice but to stand by his complaint now that the "legal machine" is in motion.
Galliano's lawyer, Stephane Zerbib, said today that Virgiti's comments signaled a "positive" development for Galliano, but declined to comment on whether the designer still plans to pursue his claim of defamation against Virgiti and Geraldine <nobrand>Bloch</nobrand>.