PARIS — Breaking his silence over the scandal that cost him his job as Christian Dior’s couturier, John Galliano said, “Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologize for my behavior in causing any offence.”
In a statement emailed by the law firm Harbottle & Lewis, the designer, 50, also reiterated he “completely” denies the claims of racist and anti-Semitic outbursts in Paris café La Perle.
“I was subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing. For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me,” Galliano said in the statement. “However, I fully accept that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people.”
As reported, Dior ousted Galliano on Tuesday amidst mounting allegations to police he uttered anti-Semitic insults, and an explosive video depicting him saying, “I love Hitler.”
Dior condemned the statements made in the video and commenced termination procedures. Galliano has been Dior’s couturier since 1996.
In the statement, Galliano made no mention of the video, but said he takes responsibility for the “circumstances in which I found 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 that I must work hard to gain people’s understanding and compassion. To start this process I am seeking help and all I can hope for in time is to address the personal failure which led to these circumstances and try and earn people’s forgiveness.
“I have fought my entire life against prejudice, intolerance and discrimination having been subjected to it myself,” he continued. “In all my work my inspiration has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light.”
Harbottle & Lewis is the go-to law firm for media and entertainment figures in crisis — or in need of protection. Its client roster includes Kate Moss, Kate Middleton, David Beckham, the England Cricket Team, Working Title and Philip Morris.
For complete coverage, see Thursday’s WWD.