Wednesday, June 22, 2011

John Galliano Speaks — His Trial Testimony

This afternoon in Paris, John Galliano arrived at a Palais de Justice courtroom for what is expected to be a one-day trial to determine whether he made anti-Semitic remarks to three separate people. He appeared in dressed-down garb compared to his usual: a black three-piece suit, black brogues, and a black-and-white polka-dotted neckerchief, and removed his fedora upon entering the courtroom, which, according to a Wall Street Journal reporter in attendance, is "hotter than a Jardin des Tuileries fashion show inside."
After the judge read Galliano's alleged anti-Semitic comments (to suppressed giggles in the courtroom), Galliano was questioned. Snippets from the conversation, after the jump.

Judge: Do you remember what happened that night 24 February?
John Galliano: I don’t remember very well. I can’t remember very well, I have a memory of a very violent man. I have no recollection [of words used on night].
J: Does he remember who started to be aggressive and utter insult?
JG: I don’t remember. I don’t remember any insults and how the situation degenerated. I don't remember it lasted 45 minutes.
PJ: Do you remember the driver intervened when the chair was grabbed?
JG: I remember that and the arrival of the police.
PJ: How do you explain that this incident lasted for so long?
JG: I don’t know.
PJ: How do you explain the fact that you don’t remember anything about that incident.
JG: I have a triple addiction. I followed a rehab programme, spent two months in Arizona, I am still being treated and spent two months in Switzerland.
Further quotes from Galliano during the conversation:
JG: I'm a recovering alcoholic, I'm a recovering addict.
JG: I mixed alcohol, barbituates, sleeping pills and alcohol.
JG: I was in denial.
JG: I was taking sleeping pills during the day. I've only just discovered since rehab what a lethal mix I was taking.
Galliano says he started to drink because Dior was doing well: "After every creative high, I would crash and the alcohol helped me."
JG: At the time of the financial crash [in 2008], I have two children. One was Dior, the other was Galliano. Dior is a big machine and I didn’t want to lose Galliano [his eponymous label]. At this point in order for that house of Galiano to survive, I met many businessmen and signed many licenses. So the collections to increase men’s wear, women's, children, shoes boys and girls, perfume projects, jewelry, fine jewelry. Beachwear, underwear, boy's and girl's clothes. The workload increased very fast.
Galliano added that he lost his friend Steven Robinson [his right hand man and longtime collaborator, who died in 2007]: "Steven protected me from everything so I could concentrate on being creative. With his death, I found I had no protection."
He says that he began drinking regularly in 2007.
Galliano noted his father's death also affected him. "I really did not take the time to mourn." He turned to sleeping pills.
JG: I'm still in recovery but feeling much better.
Galliano then took his seat.
UPDATE: Later, after the infamous Galliano video is shown, Galliano is called back to the stand.
JG says the words in the video are not views he holds: "I see someone who needs help. It's the shell of John Galliano. I see a man who has been pushed to the edge ... someone that needs help, who's vulnerable. These are not the sentiments of John Galliano."
JG: I have all my life fought against prejudice, having been subjected to it myself. We moved to south London when I was 6 years old and aware that I was gay. I was sent to a difficult English boys school and you can imagine that children can be cruel.
JG: I never held those views — the things I'm being accused of today.
JG: I cannot acknowledge for this man I do not know. The man you see up there [in the video] is not John Galliano.
JG: I've no recollection of the events. I read about them afterward ... all you need is look at my work and see these are views I never held.
JG: I apologize for the sadness this whole affair has caused.
Galliano is seated again.
UPDATE #2: Galliano called to the stand once more.
Galliano says he has no current occupation. And he is in "day care" for his addictions.
When the judge asks for his last thoughts, Galliano says if we look at his work can see he embraces every creed and celebrates cultural diversity.
JG: I'm passionate and I travel the world, not just as tourist but to understand cultures . . . I've lived with Masai tribe.
He thanks the court, and the judges are recessing for 15 minutes.
UPDATE #3: Galliano's verdict has been set for Sept. 8, after a nearly 7-hour trial.

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