Police question designer over alleged racist remarks as fresh video footage shows quarrel with two women From the Guardian by Kim Wellwisher
John Galliano has spent more than five hours at a French police station being questioned about an alleged drunken rant in a Paris bar, in which he was said to have hurled racist and antisemitic abuse. His future as creative director of Christian Dior looked increasingly doubtful as video footage emerged of an apparently separate incident in which he is seen saying: "I love Hitler". Galliano, 50, wearing a large-brimmed black hat over his trademark bandana, arrived at the police station in the central 3rd arrondissement of Paris where he came face to face with the couple he is accused of accosting at La Perle bar in the chic Marais district last Thursday. The couple, a Jewish woman and her Asian boyfriend, told French radio Europe 1 the British designer had told them: "Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead" and "fucking Asian bastard, I will kill you". After last week's incident Galliano's lawyer, Stéphane Zerbib, said the designer was lodging a police complaint against the couple for "defamation, insults, threats and aggression". "This man and woman were aggressive to Galliano, mocking the way he looked. My client was insulted first and never made antisemitic remarks." The designer has denied making racist or antisemitic comments. A second woman came forward at the weekend claiming a separate incident took place in the same bar in October. A police source told Le Parisien the 48-year-old was at first "surprised by John Galliano's attitude and the fact he had a go at her apparently without any reason". "She said the designer was in a drunken state. She is sure about the nature of the insults because she speaks and understands English well," the source added. The woman told officers that at the time she had not complained to police because she blamed the outburst on the fact the designer had been drinking. Video footage posted on the Sun's website shows Galliano apparently arguing with two women in La Perle. A woman can be heard asking the designer: "Are you blond with blue eyes?" He replies: "No, but I love Hitler and people like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers would all be fucking gassed." Neither of the women is Jewish. Zerbib said he "questioned the opportunism" of the new complaint. "When you are a victim of antisemitic or racist remarks, you do not wait four months (to lodge a complaint)," he told Reuters. "What matters isn't what's on the internet, what matters is the testimony and the hearing," he added. Galliano is due to present his autumn-winter collection for Dior this Friday and his own collection on Sunday. The haute couture fashion house, which has suspended the designer, has not said whether the show will go ahead. It stressed it has a "zero-tolerance" policy towards any racist or antisemitic behaviour. Muriel Piaser, head of Paris's biannual fashion trade show, said Dior was in a difficult position: "I think the situation is not tenable for Dior," she said "Dior sells everywhere around the world. Fashion sells dreams but it also involves respecting certain ethical codes." The flamboyant Galliano, 50, the Gibraltar-born son of a British plumber and a Spanish mother, has lived in Paris for 20 years. With his trademark moustache and ostentatious outfits he is a familiar figure in the Marais, the traditional Jewish area of Paris, now home to fashionable bars and a large gay community.