For the first time since Christian Dior began proceedings to fire him over alleged anti-Semitic comments he made in a French bar last week, John Galliano is speaking out.
"I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully cooperated with the police investigation," Galliano, 50, said in a statement.
The disgraced Dior designer went on to explain his remarks were made following an "unprovoked assault," by a patron in the restaurant. In France, it is a crime to make anti-Semitic comments, and Galliano could face up to six months in jail if convicted.
Despite maintaining his innocence, the designer, who's dressed stars like Nicole Kidman, Charlize Theron, and Cate Blanchett, didn't pass the buck entirely.
"I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself," he said. "I must face up to my own failures and 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."
He added, "Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society."
After the February 25 incident, a British tabloid ran a video of Galliano yelling at two women, saying, "I love Hitler… People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be f…ing gassed."
Dior spokesperson Natalie Portman, who is Jewish, said she would have nothing to do with Galliano.
"I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano's comments that surfaced," she said. "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."
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