John Galliano found guilty of anti-Semitic Paris rants

John Galliano, the shamed British fashion designer whose career imploded in the aftermath of a videotaped anti-Semitic rant, was fined about $8,500 (Rs 4 lakh) by a French court in connection with two incidents in a chic Parisian bar; the court then suspended the fine.

Galliano, who stood before the panel of judges in a one-day trial in June, did not appear in court yesterday to hear the verdict.

Galliano was fired from Christian Dior following his racist rants

The charge of public insults for reasons of religion, race or ethnicity carried a maximum penalty of six months in jail.

The court said that it took into consideration Galliano's apology for the outbursts and his decision to seek treatment for drug and alcohol abuse in deciding his sentence.

Galliano, who was fired as the creative director of Dior when the charges surfaced, had told the French court that he remembered nothing about the incidents, and at the time was debilitated by job stress and addiction to Valium and alcohol.

He condemned racism and anti-Semitism and apologised to the victims, saying he had experienced discrimination himself because of his homosexuality.

But the prosecutor had accused him of indulging in an ugly variety of "racism and anti-Semitism of the parking lot and the supermarket."

The suspension means that Galliano will not have to pay the fines unless he is accused of repeating the same type of hate crime.

But he was also ordered to pay legal costs for several anti-racism groups which supported the accusers in the case.

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