The mounting drama over Dior designer John Galliano's alleged drunken altercation in Paris last week came to a head with the release of a cell-phone video depicting a man presumed to be the designer unleashing a series of remarks includng the now infamous line, "I love Hitler."
The designer was suspended Friday and spent Monday in a Paris police station confronting his accusors, and now Oscar winner Natalie Portman—who became the face of Miss Dior Cherie in December—has spoken out to formally condemn Galliano's comments, releasing the following statement to The New York Times:
I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today. In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way. I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful.
Though complete details of Portman's contract with Dior are not known, there were rumors that she'd intentionally worn Rodarte over Dior (to whom she may or may not be contractually obligated) in light of Friday's accusations against Galliano. That logic seems a bit murky, considering the Rodarte designers' involvement in "Black Swan" and the fact that, as of Friday, the evidence against Galliano was still hearsay.
Now, with Galliano caught on video, it's clear that Portman is firmly and formally distancing herself from the brand—a move that might prove Galliano's undoing at Dior, considering what a prize the new Oscar winner is in terms of celebrity affiliation and publicity. It's important to note that, under French law, racist remarks can carry a weight of up to six months in prison, meaning that -- if formally charged -- the designer could actually face jail time in addition to the loss of his title at Dior.