Today, a Paris court found designer John Galliano guilty of racist and anti-Semitic conduct in light of a heated verbal dispute that occurred between he and two patrons at La Perle last December. The incident, which depicts the designer insulting the other party and uttering “I Love Hitler,” memorably surfaced on video in late February this year, inciting a media riot and prompting the designer’s dismissal from his position of creative director at Christian Dior. Though Galliano was found guilty for his behavior, his legal consequences will be minimal in the context of French law: he will not serve jail time (in France, a guilty verdict involving racist slurs can entail a six month prison sentence); furthermore, his suspended fines total $8,400 plus damages and legal fees, a far more forgiving fee than the $32,000+ fine applicable to his situation.
Galliano, who claims he was addicted to alcohol and sleeping pills at the time of the incident and has no recollection of the event, has since attended rehab and was not present for today’s hearing. His position at Christian Dior is strongly rumored to be filled by Marc Jacobs. Meanwhile, Galliano, long a friend to Gwen Stefani, Beyoncé, and other popular style-forward musicians, is now free to take on a job at a new label, if the opportunity arises.