While the fashion community was awash in mixed emotions yesterday after Dior's firing of John Galliano, the designer himself was silent. Now, Galliano has issued a public apology for "allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light," but at the same time makes clear he denies all the allegations made against him.
According to a recent report in The New York Times, the designer is said to be reporting to rehab to receive treatment for his alcohol problems. In Galliano's statement, he says that he is "seeking help," which appears to confirm the report.
Here is Galliano's complete statement, which seems part apology and part defense, and, interestingly, does not seem to account for the video which surfaced Monday. (The "allegations" against him thus far only include the reported altercation that occured last week in a Paris cafe.):
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.
Whether or not the statement answers all the questions, it's still a welcome reprieve from the silence that has surrounded the designer since last Friday. Purple's Oliver Zahm wrote an open plea to the designer to respond with an apology and say it was all just "crazy," so that his friends could once again support him. Whether or not they will rush to his aid is still an unanswered question, especially considering the statement does not appear to explain his behavior on the video that was released Monday.