Fashion house Christian Dior is set to sack its creative director John Galliano following the appearance of video footage in which he appears to make racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
Dior said on Tuesday it is starting procedures to fire the British designer, a week after suspending him in the wake of the alleged abuse. Police in Paris questioned Galliano for more than five hours on Monday after a couple – a Jewish woman and an Asian man – complained he had made the offensive comments in a drunken rant the night before.
According to the couple, Galliano had told them: “Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead” and “f***ing Asian bastard, I will kill you.”
Galliano’s lawyer, Stéphane Zerbib, says his client denies making racist or anti-Semitic remarks. Zerbib has said that the designer was lodging his own official complaint against the couple for defamation, insults threat and aggression.
Another woman lodged a complaint at the weekend, accusing 50-year old Galliano of making a similar drunken rant at her in October. Zerbib said he “questioned the opportunism” of her coming forward.
Video footage of an apparently separate incident and posted on the internet appears to show Galliano telling two women “I love Hitler” and making references to Nazi gas chambers.
In a statement, Christian Dior said it was dismissing Galliano for the “particularly odious nature of his behaviour and remarks.” Chief Executive Sidney Toledano added:
“I very firmly condemn what was said by Galliano, which totally contradicts the values which have always been defended by Christian Dior.”
Galliano is due to present his autumn-winter collection for Dior this Friday and his own collection two days later. It is unclear if either show will go ahead.