Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Galliano apologizes, amid reports he is headed to rehab

Fashion designer John Galliano arrives at a police station in Paris on Monday, Feb. 28, 2011. Christian Dior has fired Galliano in wake of alleged anti-Semitic remarks he made during a dispute at a trendy Paris cafe. (AP / Michel Euler)

Galliano apologizes, amid reports he is headed to rehab

Disgraced fashion designer John Galliano apologized Wednesday for the behaviour that led to his firing by design house Christian Dior.

However, Galliano denied allegations of racism and said he has fully co-operated with a police investigation into his alleged comments.

In a statement released Wednesday by the fashion designer's lawyers, Galliano said he accepted "that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people."

Despite denying the claims against him, Galliano said his apology was offered "unreservedly."

Earlier Wednesday it was reported that Galliano had left France and was headed for rehab.

He was fired by Dior one day earlier on Tuesday.

Galliano's career began to unravel on Thursday when he was questioned by police after an incident at a Paris cafe. He was accused of directing anti-Semitic and anti-Asian comments towards a couple.

Then on Monday, amateur video emerged of a second, earlier incident at the same cafe, in which Galliano appears to insult Jews.

Dior suspended Galliano on Friday pending the results of a police probe, but then fired him on Tuesday.

According to a report Wednesday in the New York Times -- citing anonymous sources -- Galliano left France for rehab after being persuaded to do so by supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss.

The newspaper report speculated that Galliano is likely headed to The Meadows, a treatment centre in Arizona where Elton John and Donatella Versace have been treated in recent years.

The timing of Galliano's fall from grace is especially bad for Dior, which is set to unveil its new collection at the fall-winter 2011-2012 shows starting this Friday.

However, Hilary Alexander, fashion director for Britain's The Daily Telegraph, said the effect on the company will be minimal compared to the effect on Galliano himself.

"It's his name really that's being featured in all the publicity and stories that are being written," Alexander told The Associated Press Television News at Paris Fashion Week.

"Dior is a house that has a 60-year history and billions of dollars in global sales that they must maintain and as far as I can see they intend to pick up the reins and carry on. It's business as usual and the show must go on."

She said Dior has protected its own interests by acting quickly to disassociate itself from Galliano immediately after the allegations emerged.

The company is believed to be seeking a replacement for Galliano, who has held the design reins at Dior for more than a decade.