PARIS — John Galliano will stand trial in Paris for public insults at the High Court here on June 22, it was revealed at a hearing on Thursday.
This story first appeared in the May 13, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The designer, ousted from Christian Dior and his signature fashion house last March in the wake of allegations of racist and anti-Semitic outbursts, was not present at the Palais de Justice. He was represented by his new lawyer, Aurélien Hamelle of Metzner Associés.
“John Galliano will be present at the trial,” Hamelle said outside the courtroom, his first public appearance in the Galliano case. “I have spoken to him. He is sick, but he is getting the care he needs, and he is much better. He will be better still by the day of the trial. He very much regrets what happened.”
During Thursday’s hearing, judiciaries set the date and also stated the names of plaintiffs: Geraldine Bloch, Philippe Virgitti and Fathia Oumeddour. The three people allege Galliano hurled insults at them at a Paris bar during two separate incidents, one on Feb. 24 and one on Oct. 8, 2010.
The third plaintiff, Oumeddour, came forward about the Oct. 8 incident following the February announcement that Bloch and Virgitti would be taking legal action against the designer, a source close to the dossier said.
The penalty in France for insult against people due to their origin, belonging or not belonging to a religion, race or ethnicity is six months imprisonment and a fine of 22,500 euros, or $31,271 at current exchange, according to the French prosecutor.
“This is not about money but about principles,” said Bloch’s lawyer, Yves Beddouk.
The hearing is slated to begin at 1:30 p.m. on June 22 — as men’s fashion week gets under way in the French capital — and the judgment is expected the same afternoon.