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Dior designer fired over alleged anti-Semitic slurs

PARIS (JTA) — British fashion designer John Galliano was fired by the Christian Dior fashion house after allegedly harassing a couple using anti-Semitic and racist slurs.

Galliano’s firing as chief designer for Christian Dior was announced Tuesday, just days after he was suspended from the house.

Galliano’s harassment of the couple in a Paris bar, which he has denied, was reported last week. On Monday, a video of Galliano saying he loves Hitler also came to light.

Actress Natalie Portman, who is the face of Dior perfume and is Jewish, said Monday that she would not be associated with Galliano.

"I am deeply shocked and disgusted by the video of John Galliano’s comments that surfaced today," Portman said in a statement. "In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way."

The video, posted on the website of Britain’s The Sun newspaper and on YouTube, shows Galliano yelling at a couple at the bar and captures him saying "I love Hitler." He also tells the couple, "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f**king gassed."

The earlier altercation, which resulted in Galliano’s suspension, took place Feb. 24 in the same cafe between Galliano, who reportedly had been drinking, and a different couple — a Jewish woman and an Asian man — whom he did not know.

Galliano reportedly said, “dirty Jewish face, you should be dead” to Geraldine Bloch, 35, according to the French daily le Figaro, which had access to police reports with eyewitness accounts of the event.

Le Figaro reported that Galliano then grabbed Bloch by the hair and shouted at her companion, Philippe Virgiti, 41, “F**king Asian bastard, I will kill you.”

The sought-after designer was taken into custody, questioned by police and tested for blood-alcohol levels before being quickly released.

Galliano denies making any racist statements and filed an official complaint for libel one day later, on Feb. 25.

 

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