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John Galliano's Excuse for Anti-Semitic Rant: I Was On Drugs

Jun 23, 2011 at 9:02 AM Chime in now

John Galliano

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Facing six months in jail, the fashion designer - who went on trial today - blames narcotics for his hateful remarks

By DONNA KAUFMAN

Disgraced fashion designer John Galliano went on trial today in Paris for the racist and anti-Semitic statements he made in February. And his lawyers have prepared their defense, which comes down to three words: He was high. (No kidding.)

"He had a triple addiction to alcohol, benzodiazepine (Valium) and sleeping pills," his lawyer said in a statement on Tuesday. "The combined effect of these drugs is a state of complete and utter abandon... When he was in that state he had no way of knowing or remembering what he said."

In case you've forgotten, what he said was that the people eating next to him at a Parisian cafe were a "dirty Jew" and an "Asian bastard," and that their parents should have been killed in a concentration camp. He also declared his love for Hitler. Correct us if we're wrong, but we don't recall ever seeing anti-Semitism listed as a side effect on a prescription before.

Nevertheless, Galliano claims that he was not himself when he delivered the harsh rant (which was partially caught on video and ended up costing him his job at Dior). After the charges were filed, he issued an apology and spent two months in rehab in the U.S. Now his future is up to the judge. Under French hate speech laws, the designer could spend six months in jail and be fined over $33,000 if he's found guilty. While the trial is expected to take only one afternoon, the verdict will be delivered in September. (Don't ask us why. Must be a French thing.)

Galliano's trial comes at an interesting time, since comedian Tracy Morgan has recently been accused of hate speech and is now trying to make amends with the gay community. Just think - if Morgan were French and not American, he could be facing jail time right now. Vive la difference?


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