Dior designer John Galliano, 50, has been suspended by the couture house following allegations of a drunken racist rant in a Paris bar in the Marais. He had been drinking at La Perle, a bar along the Rue Vielle du Temple last Thursday. Mr Galliano is alleged to have drunkenly told a woman sitting at a table beside him: "Dirty Jew, you should be dead. Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead.” He called her a “whore” and “ugly”" then ranted to an Asian man sitting with her: "Fucking Asian bastard, I’m going to kill you."
Witnesses called police during the incident, said to have taken place in front of dozens of astonished revellers. Police arrived quickly (9pm) and broke up the disturbance. Mr Galliano was briefly arrested and then released pending charges for assault.
Anti-semitic remarks are punishable by up to six months in prison in France, but Mr Galliano has not yet been charged with an offence. His lawyer, Stephane Zerbib, ‘formally denied’ that his client had made racist comments.
Dior's chief executive Sidney Toledano said: "Dior affirms with the utmost conviction its policy of zero tolerance towards any anti-semitic or racist words or behaviour. Pending the results of the inquiry, Christian Dior has suspended John Galliano from his responsibilities."
Mr Galliano was facing criminal charges and would appear in court on a date to be fixed.
Mr Galliano has been chief designer at Dior since 1996.
Born in Gibraltar and brought up in South London, he is often seen enjoying himself in the bars and café of the Marais, the historic centre of the city’s Jewish community. The Dior fall collection is scheduled to be shown next Friday, March 4, at the Rodin Museum.