Galliano sorry but denies anti-semitism: statement
Designer John Galliano said Wednesday he "completely" denied the claims of anti-semitism against him but "unreservedly" apologised for his behaviour, in a statement issued by his lawyers in London.
"I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-operated with the police investigation," the British designer said, after his arrest in Paris on Thursday for alleged assault and making anti-Semitic remarks.
He added: "Anti-semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologise for my behaviour in causing any offence."
Galliano was sacked by French fashion house Dior on Tuesday after a video surfaced showing him insulting people in a cafe and declaring "I love Hitler".
The British couturier, 50, had already been suspended by the historic firm after he was arrested and questioned by French police over allegations that he had subjected a couple to a drunken, anti-semitic tirade in Paris.
In a statement issued by London solicitors Harbottle and Lewis, Galliano said: "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.
"However, given the continuing delays at the French prosecutor's office I should make my position clear."
Denying the claims against him, he confirmed he would be taking legal action against his accusers and said they had verbally harassed him.
"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," he said.
"For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me."
The designer continued: "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."
Gibraltar-born Galliano added: "I have fought my entire life against prejudice, intolerance and discrimination, having been subjected to it myself."
© 2011 AFP