John Galliano Issues Apology, Denies Claims Against Him

natalie portman
Photo: Getty Images
John Galliano has released a statement.

It’s mea culpa time.

Speaking out for the first time since his detainment by French police and subsequent dismissal from Dior over alleged anti-Semitic comments, designer John Galliano has issued a statement giving his side of the story.

“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,” the embattled designer says. 

“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 cooperated 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 apologize for my behavior in causing any offense.”

While he takes responsibility for his controversial behavior (presumably referencing the video which shows him saying “I love Hitler”), Galliano does seem to be sticking to his defense that he was provoked during the incident that led to his arrest last week.

Will the statement be enough to repair his tarnished image? Only time will tell.