The designer was issued a €4,000 suspended fine and instructed to pay a symbolic euro to the two plaintiffs for the February 24 incident. He was fined €2,000, also suspended (meaning that the fine only becomes payable if Galliano fails to comply with court orders), for a separate event in October 2010. The sentence did not carry any jail time.
As expected, Galliano did not appear in the courtroom to receive the verdict. The judge said that the designer’s absence was calculated to avoid press exposure.
Galliano’s attorney Aurélien Hamelle addressed the press after the verdict was passed down. ‘There is no penalty, so to speak, which is a very strong sign by the courts, because it shows the court took into account his sincere apology, the fact that Mr Galliano undertook treatment for his addiction,’ the BBC reported.
‘Mr Galliano is relieved. Relieved that these eight months are behind him. He is looking forward to a future with understanding and forgiveness, hopefully, and to put all of this behind him.’
The charges for ‘public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity’ stemmed from an incident in February in which Galliano was captured on video expressing admiration for Adolph Hitler and telling bar patrons that they ‘would have been gassed’.
The maximum sentence for the charge is a six-month jail term and a €22,500 fine. However, during the seven-hour trial on June 22, the prosecutor requested a guilty sentence without jail time and a reduced fine of up to €5,000.
The plaintiffs differed from their representation on the subject of an appropriate sentence. Plaintiff Geraldine Bloch sought just one euro in compensation, accompanied by ‘an expression of regret’. Partner and fellow plaintiff Philippe Virgitti was pursuing compensation on the basis of ‘moral damage.’
The designer has awaited the outcome of racism charges since standing trial in June. At that trial, Galliano described turning to drink and drugs to cope with his extensive design obligations for Dior and Galliano.
‘After every creative high I would crash, and the alcohol would help me to escape,’ he said.
He also apologised ‘unreservedly’ for causing offence, though he stopped short of admitting that he remembered his actions.
'I have all my life fought against prejudice, having been subjected to it myself,’ he said. 'I apologise for all the sadness this affair has caused.'