No Jail for Galliano: French Court Fines Designer Over Anti-Semitic Remarks

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Galliano, outside of a Paris courtroom in June

It was judgment day for John Galliano, whose trial verdict over anti-Semitic hate speech was handed down today by a French court.

The court found the British designer guilty of hurling anti-Semitic insults to customers — among other things, he told them that in an earlier time their relatives “would have been gassed” — in a Paris cafe earlier this year. He was given a suspended fine of 6,000 euros (nearly $8,500). The decision comes nearly three months after the designer’s one-day trail in June, where he blamed his behavior on his addictions to “[a]lcohol, sleeping pills and Valium.”

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Though the verdict is damning, the sentence could have been worse. Officially charged with “public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity” — a crime in France that’s punishable with up to six months in prison and thousands of dollars in fines — Galliano certainly got off on the lighter side of the court justice scale.

Of course, the high-fashion designer’s career took a much bigger hit. Once the darling of the high-fashion world, Galliano was fired from his position as creative director at Dior after the incident came to light and was disgraced in the fashion world. However, the verdict–coming in just before Fashion Week is about to kick off–further highlights just how far the designer has fallen.

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