3 Mar 2011

Designer Galliano faces trial

9:58 am on 3 March 2011

Fashion designer John Galliano will stand trial over accusations he made anti-Semitic comments in Paris last week, French prosecutors say.

Officials said a trial could take place later this year, the BBC reports. Mr Galliano could face up to six months in prison if convicted.

The 50-year-old British designer has been sacked from couture house Christian Dior over the comments.

He said in a statement that anti-Semitism and racism "have no part in our society" and "unreservedly" apologised for causing any offence, but denied the claims made against him.

Police briefly detained Mr Galliano on Thursday night in the French capital after a couple accused him of making anti-Semitic remarks. He also allegedly traded slaps with them.

The designer claimed witnesses had given evidence to police that he was verbally harassed and subjected to an "unprovoked assault" during the incident last week, where someone tried to hit him with a chair "having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing". He was beginning defamation proceedings, he said.

He was dismissed by fashion house Dior on Tuesday after footage emerged of a separate incident in which he was shown expressing admiration for Adolf Hitler.