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John Galliano Hires New Lawyer

Aurélien Hamelle at Metzner Associés in Paris has been appointed to represent the designer in the face of allegations of public insult.

PARIS — John Galliano, who is to stand trial here on a charge of public insult, has new legal representation.

His London-based publicist Jo Milloy said Aurélien Hamelle at Metzner Associés in Paris has been appointed to represent the designer in the face of allegations he uttered anti-Semitic and racial slurs during altercations at a Paris bar.

According to Milloy, Stéphane Zerbib was recently dismissed as Galliano’s lawyer following the discovery of apparent irregularities in respect to his firm’s administration of Galliano’s financial affairs over a number of years.

Zerbib could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

The High Court here is expected on May 12 to set a date for Galliano’s trial.

The designer was dismissed from Dior and his namesake house in the wake of charges he hurled insults at three people, and after an explosive video whirled through cyberspace depicting Galliano saying, in a slurred voice, “I love Hitler.” 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.

As reported, the designer recently completed an “intensive” one-month treatment at a rehabilitation center in Arizona and is said to be receiving extended “after care.”

Galliano apologized for the events in March, saying: “I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I find myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light. I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my own failures and I must work hard to gain people’s understanding and compassion.”