PARIS (AP) - John Galliano’s drunken anti-Semitic ravings cost him his job at Paris luxury house Christian Dior and gave him a criminal record but didn’t land him in jail, a Paris court ruled Thursday.
The court found Galliano guilty on two counts of “public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity” _ charges that carry a maximum sentence of six months in prison and fines of up to euro20,000.
But the three-magistrate panel showed leniency, sentencing the legendary designer to a euro6,000 ($8,400) suspended fine, which means it goes on Galliano’s criminal record but he does not have to pay it. The court did not give Galliano prison time.
Presiding judge Anne-Marie Sauteraud said the magistrates’ clemency was in part due to the fact that the designer had apologized to the court and the plaintiffs _ who contended the designer showered them with a litany of racist and anti-Semitic insults in two separate run-ins at a Paris watering hole.
In testimony before the court in proceedings in June, Galliano said he didn’t recall anything about the spats and explained he had been under the influence of a “triple addiction” to alcohol, barbiturates and sleeping pills. Still, he added he was sorry for “the sadness that this whole affair has caused.”
Lawyers for both sides welcomed Thursday’s ruling.
Galliano “is looking forward to a future of forgiveness and understanding, hopefully, and to put all of this behind him.”
Although Galliano will not have to fork out any money in fines, he was ordered to pay euro16,500 ($23,200) in court fees for Bloch and two other plaintiffs, as well as five anti-racism associations. The court also ordered him to pay a symbolic euro1 ($1.40) in damages to each.
“It is outrageous that someone who told others that they ‘ought to be dead’ and expressed support for the Holocaust gets away with less than a slap on the wrist,” Kantor said. “This sentence demonstrates that there appears to be a culture of impunity in the entertainment world.”
“Now it is up to him to make amends to the community he demeaned and to the public at large,” according to a statement from the center. “That cannot be achieved through carefully crafted press releases but only through his future deeds and words.”
Although Galliano’s remarks would not be punishable in the U.S., France has strict laws aimed at curbing anti-Semitic and racist language. The laws were enacted in the decades following the Holocaust.View Entire Story
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