John Galliano’s long-awaited trial on charges of racism and anti-Semitism is just wrapping up in Paris. We’re not there but a lot of other fashion journalists are and they’re live tweeting and blogging from inside the courtroom. Most notably GQ’s deputy editor Michael Hainey, France24′s Shona Bhattacharyya, Elle UK and the Telegraph have been keeping us updated minute-by-minute on the goings on. Here’s what happened today in court, per their accounts, in chronological order:
–Galliano entered the courtroom wearing a fedora, a three piece suit, no shirt, and a polka-dotted necktie. He took the fedora off before entering the courtroom.
–Outside the courthouse the lawyers for accusers Geraldine Bloch and Philippe Virgitti make statements. “What we are after is an expression of regret and excuses for what has happened,” said Yves Beddouk, Bloch’s lawyer. Bloch is seeking one symbolic euro in compensation on moral grounds, plus court fees. Virgitti, on the other hand, is seeking financial compensation for moral damages in the way of 220,00 euros, according to Bhattacharyya. “Unfortunately Mr Galliano doesn’t seem to have a code of honour, so my client feels the only way to reach him is through his wallet,” said Jean-Bernard Bosquet-Denis, Virgitti’s lawyer.
–Meanwhile, back inside the courtroom, which was apparently swelteringly hot (GQ’s Hainey described the courtroom as “Kill A Mockingbird-hot”), the judge read the charges including the racial and anti-Semitic slurs. Hainey reports nervous laughter as they’re read aloud.
–When asked by the judge if he remembers saying the slurs, Galliano says he has no recollection but recalls that one of the plaintiffs was aggressive towards him.
–Galliano confesses to a drug and alcohol addiction. “I have a triple addiction. I followed a rehab program, spent two months in Arizona, I am still being treated and spent two months in Switzerland.” According to Elle, Galliano says he started drinking in 2007 “because Dior was doing well, and drinking helped him escape the crashes that came after each creative high.” Galliano also cited the pressure following the recession in 2008 as contributing his problems with drugs and alcohol, the Telegraph reports: “At the time of the financial crash, I have two children. One was Dior, the other was Galliano. Dior is a big machine and I didn’t want to lose Galliano. At this point in order for that house of Galiano to survive, I met many businessmen and signed many licences. So the collections to increase men’s wear, women’s, children, shoes boys and girls, perfume projects, jewelry, fine jewelry. Beach wear underwear, boys and girl’s clothes. The workload increased very fast.”
–Plaintiff Geraldine Bloch at the stand: “I didn’t want this incident to create such a media storm. I just thought I had no other choice.” She confirms that the designer called her “dirty Jewish face.”
–Galliano on the stand, after watching a video of his rant, according to France24′s Bhattacharyya: “He says the man (him) in racist video is ‘shell of John Galliano,’ ‘someone that needs help, who’s vulnerable…I have all my life fought against prejudice, having been subjected to it myself…I apologize for all the sadness this affair has caused.’”
–More from Galliano: “I’m passionate and I travel the world not just as a tourist but to understand cultures… I’ve lived with Masai tribe… I travel the world and bring it back in the form of a research book that would become the starting point for the collection.”
–Most outlets stopped reporting from the courtroom around this time (the trial was supposed to be over at 7 p.m. and ran long) but GQ’s Hainey, the superstar twitterer of the trail, kept on tweeting.
–The prosecution scolds Galliano for blaming his actions on his “shadow” but lauds him for showing up when he didn’t have to.
–Hainey reports that Galliano apologizes to victims, saying that racism and anti-Semitism have “no place” in our culture.
–And a verdict will be delivered September 8.