Nearly seven months after star designer John Galliano was arrested and charged with making anti-Semitic and racist remarks in a cafe in Paris, a French court has brought the ensuing drama to a close with a guilty verdict.
While Galliano was facing jail time for the charges, the verdict carries only a suspended fine of 6,000 euros ($8,400 USD). According to The New York Times, the judge took into account Galliano's apology during his June 22 trial and "values of tolerance" in his life and career. Galliano's lawyers had argued for an acquittal based on the designer's intoxication and struggle with substance addiction.
Galliano has apologized profusely for his actions, and checked into rehab shortly after the incident. After seeing the cell phone video of his drunken, racist rant during the trial, he reportedly told the court: “I can see that this whole affair has caused a lot of upset and sadness. I apologize because that man you see up there is not John Galliano ... I cannot answer for that man because I don’t know him."
The verdict brings to a sharp conclusion a dramatic saga that has reached into the highest echelons of fashion, as the arrest and ensuing fervor around the allegations led Dior to fire the designer and LVMH (the parent company of both Dior and Galliano's own label) to drop him from his namesake label. While the designer's swift fall captured the attention of the fashion industry initially, speculation turned quickly to who would replace the talent at the helm of Dior, one of fashion's most iconic brands. A successor has yet to be named.
As for Galliano's future in fashion, LVMH chief Bernard Arnault has made it clear that the designer will not be returning to LVMH. Galliano has not, however, been blacklisted from the world of fashion: He was featured quite prominently in Vogue's spread on Kate Moss's wedding (he designed her gown), which would seem a positive indicator for him to make a return in some capacity in the years to come.