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Question of the Day
Asked why, in their statements, no one else at the cafe appeared to have heard Galliano say the word Jewish, Bloch replied, “I am very surprised.”
“He didn’t say it any softer or louder than the other commentaries,” she added.
When asked if the designer appeared to be drunk, Bloch responded, “I don’t know if he was drunk but he was behaving completely strangely.”
Judges then asked why she remained seated next to him. Bloch said he had upset her so much with his “gratuitous insults,” that staying there became a “question of principle” for her.
Another patron of the cafe, 30-year-old English teacher, Marion Bully, was called as a defense witness. Bully said she was surprised that instead of changing tables, the couple ordered another drink.
“It was very difficult to tell who had insulted whom,” she told the court.
Galliano repeated a litany of insults, including “Shut up,” ”You’re ugly” and others with four-letter words, Bully told the court.
“(But) I absolutely didn’t hear anything anti-Semitic,” she testified, adding she thought the altercation was “totally overblown.”
Galliano described his increasing work loads at Dior and his signature label, John Galliano, due to the financial crisis. “They kept me very busy,” he said, adding that he had not had time to mourn after the 2007 death of his right hand man, Stephen Robinson, and the 2005 death of his father.
His lawyer, Aurelien Hamelle, told The Associated Press earlier that the designer’s comments were “misplaced and hurtful” but attributed them to Galliano’s addition to alcohol and prescription drugs.
Galliano issued a statement at the time saying: “Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologize for my behavior in causing any offense.” He also said he was “seeking help” for personal failures.
If the court determines that the insults against the victims were heard by other people, it would be a crime and a conviction could lead to a prison term. If such insults were not witnessed, they would only amount to a petty offense and be punishable by a fine.
The February cafe incident and the video reverberated throughout the fashion world because they came to light on the eve of Paris Fashion Week. Dior fired Galliano after 14 years with the company and denounced his comments.
After joining the company in 1996, Galliano made an indelible mark on the storied house, with theatrical, often outrageous, runway shows that were among the most-anticipated displays on the Paris fashion calendar.
The trial is being held on the opening day of another round of Paris fashion shows, the menswear spring-summer 2012 collection.
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