Galliano, who has been accused of hurling racial and ethnic hate speech at a couple in a Paris bar — and was caught on tape doing it — says the other couple was so nasty he had no choice but to go Mel Gibson on them.
Galliano’s statement reads as follows:
“Since the events of last Thursday evening I have not been able to make any public comment on what took place based upon advice from my French lawyer. However, given the continuing delays at the French Prosecutor’s Office I should make my position clear. I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-operated with the police investigation.
A number of independent witnesses have given evidence and have told the police that I was subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing. For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me.
However, I fully accept that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people.
I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light.
I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my own failures and that I must work hard to gain people’s understanding and compassion. To start this process I am seeking help and all I can hope for in time is to address the personal failure which led to these circumstances and try and earn people’s forgiveness.
I have fought my entire life against prejudice, intolerance and discrimination, having been subjected to it myself. In all my work my inspiration has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light.
Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologise for my behaviour in causing any offence.”
Throwing around racial slurs in public is a criminal offense in France and the designer faces six months in jail if convicted.