Galliano trial: latest news
Felicitas Michel took the stand yesterday at Galliano's trial in Paris for anti-semitism. The fashion student contacted Galliano's defence team to request the opportunity to give evidence, as she was present at the infamous incident where the ex-Dior desigmer was alleged to have shouted racist abuse. While Michel testified that Galliano was drunk and abusive, she stated that at no point did the designer use anti-semitic slurs. This evidence led some to question whether the young fashion student had asked to testify in order to further her career.
Michel told Vogue, 'I told the judges that I was facing John Galliano in the bar at a nearby table and that I saw the whole situation. I told them that I only started to pay attention to what was happening when Bloch spoke: I heard her say something to Galliano and he replied, saying she was ugly and so was her bag. The conversation went on like this and then the woman, Bloch, went to speak to the manager. The couple didn't want to move table and then ordered more drinks.'
He continued, 'Then they started to argue; I heard Galliano call her a bitch, and the couple responded, calling him ugly and disgusting. The man, Virgitti, turned his chair to look at Galliano in a certain way and then he lifted the chair as if to hit Galliano. At this point Galliano's driver stepped in and Virgitti said he would call the police and Galliano said 'Go ahead, call them'. Then I heard Galliano say 'Hey Asian, do you have papers?' - he spoke in English throughout the argument. The judges asked 'Did you hear him say the word Jewish; anything about Jews?' And I said no, because I didn't. I wasn't in court when she testified but I understand the first witness, the English teacher, said the same.
'Then Galliano's new lawyer asked me whether I did this for my career; to get a job; to be famous - and I said honestly, no. I did not speak to Galliano's lawyer at all before the trial, he wanted me to be neutral: he didn't greet me when I arrived, he didn't contact me. I just wanted to get it over with.'
He concluded with, 'I didn't do this for John Galliano - I just wanted the truth to be heard. I'm not sure what will happen now.'