Galliano wins first round in Dior lawsuit

John Galliano has contested his dismissal from Christian Dior Couture at the Paris Labour Relations Court. The former Dior artistic director is seeking damages based on nullity and ill-founded dismissal, as stipulated by his lawyer, Chantal Giraud-van Gaver. His lawyer has refused to specify the amount being sought.

After being forced to leave Dior in 2011 for his racist and anti-Semitic slurs, John Galliano was sentenced to pay a 6,000 fine in 2011 after being found guilty for anti-Semitic behaviour.

The 52 year-old has linked the insults to alcohol and drug addiction. At the time of the offence, Galliano was dealing with a "triple addiction" to drugs, alcohol and sleeping pills, said Chantal Giraud-van Gaver to Reuters, underlining that firing an employee due his state of health is forbidden in France. The Christian Dior Couture and John Galliano companies “were not able to dismiss Galliano on these grounds,” she added.

Dior’s lawyer considers that the Labour Relations Court is not competent for this case, on the basis John Galliano was not an employee, but rather an independent contractor, a fact which Galliano’s lawyer finds “absurd”.

A hearing was held questioning the competence of the court. Finally, the court was deemed competent meaning Galliano has won the first leg of the case. Dior now has 15 days to contest the ruling.

This type of procedure is very long and Galliano’s lawyer is not expecting the next hearing to take place before October or November.



Jean-Paul Leroy (with Reuters)

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