Christian Dior issued a public statement this morning that John Galliano had been suspended from his position due to accusations that he made anti-Semitic remarks during an altercation last night in Paris. "Christian Dior has an unequivocal zero-tolerance policy regarding anti-Semitism and racism," stated Sidney Toledano, chairman and CEO of Dior Couture. Galliano's suspension is pending the results of the French police's investigation of the incident.
But what exactly happened? There are several conflicting reports. The alleged victim of Galliano's verbal assault granted an interview to French news network Europe 1 (she wished to remain anonymous). According to her statement, Galliano sat down at an outdoor café table next to her and a male friend of Asian descent around 9 p.m. He reportedly ordered himself a mojito and began to "me traiter de pute" (translation: "refer to me as a bitch"). The woman called the police when he, in English, allegedly continued, "Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead ... Fucking Asian bastard, I will kill you." The woman contends that she had no idea who Galliano was until a nearby diner exclaimed, "C’est une star, c’est John Galliano." The woman is not Jewish.
Another eyewitness tells a different story. According to website sleek-mag.com (which was also quoted by the Times' Cathy Horyn), an unnamed bystander said that Galliano was simply trying to chat with the pair. The witness said that the man told Galliano, “You’re ugly, you’re disgusting, move away from here,” at which point Galliano reportedly replied to the woman, “You’re ugly, and your bag is ugly, too.” Galliano then allegedly referred to the man as Asian, at which point the man and woman called the police.
Vogue U.K. spoke to the same witness, who maintained that Galliano "wasn't 'busted' aggressively by police, it was very quiet and peaceful. I definitely didn't hear him say anything anti-Semitic, or against any religion, it was all very calm."
We spoke with a source today who has worked closely with Galliano on several projects and "can't imagine he would do this to anyone." He added, "I'm an observant Jew, and I know from my own experiences with him that there's no way he hates Jewish people. He's incredibly gentle."
The French police are currently investigating the incident; meanwhile, the Christian Dior show is scheduled to take place next Friday, March 4, in Paris.
Galliano : la plaignante raconte [Europe 1]
Galliano suspendu pour des propos antisémites [Europe 1]
Dior’s John Galliano Suspended for Alleged Comments [On the Runway/NYT]
John Galliano Suspended [Vogue UK]
Galliano Vs. (Style) Police [Sleek Mag]
Earlier: John Galliano Suspended From Dior After Alleged Assault