September 08, 2011 16:45:54 GMT
Found guilty on anti-Semitic remarks, the former Dior employee escapes jail and will receive penalty only when he behaves badly again.
Former Dior designer John Galliano was found guilty of anti-Semitism on Thursday, September 8 morning at a Parisian court. Galliano, who was absent at the hearing, was handed a suspended fine of $8,400 and ordered to pay the plaintiffs' legal fees.
Earlier this year, Galliano launched ethnic slurs at some cafe customers, telling a woman that he loved Hitler and that her parents were most likely gassed to death. These kind of remarks would not be punishable in the U.S., but France has strict laws on racist language since the Holocaust.
The suspended fine means that Galliano will only have to pay if his behavior is deemed inappropriate by law again. Although he is not forking out any money for the fine, he is due to pay $23,200 in court fees and a symbolic 1 Euro ($1.40) in damages to each the complainants. This conviction is rather lenient compared to the maximum sentence of $31,000 and six months of incarceration.
Presiding judge Anne-Marie Sauteraud landed the decision based on the fact that the designer had apologized for his behavior and gone through a treatment for addiction. Galliano, who said that he was under the influence of alcohol and prescription drugs at the time of incident, also has a lack of criminal record.
"It is a wise ruling. Mr. Galliano is clearly relieved ... and asked me to apologize for him once again," Galliano's lawyer Aurelien Hamelle told the journalists outside court, adding that the designer is "looking forward to a future of forgiveness and understanding, hopefully, and to put all of this behind him."