As menswear shows hit the runway in the City of Lights yesterday, a familiar designer was put to a different kind of test. In emotional testimony, former Dior designer John Galliano yesterday insisted he doesn't remember having made any anti-Semitic or racist rants, but acknowledged he was lost to alcohol and drug addictions when the alleged incidents took place. Galliano watched as the court projected the 45-second-long video that showed him, inebriated, slurring "I love Hitler." "In the video, I see someone who needs help, who's vulnerable. It's the shell of John Galliano. I see someone who's been pushed to the edge," he said. "These are not views that I hold or believe in.”
Galliano said his recent descent into addiction also coincided with the 2005 passing of his father, and the sudden 2007 death of his longtime right-hand man, Stephen Robinson. He said he was so busy conducting fittings for the ready-to-wear, couture, menswear and other lines at Dior and Galliano that he didn't have time to mourn either. "When Stephen died, with his parents I buried him and we went to the crematorium and I went back to do fittings," he said. "The same thing happened with my father's death." Prosecutors yesterday asked for a fine of no less than $14,400, but did not ask for jail time.