The British fashion designer John Galliano, already suspended by Christian Dior for allegedly making anti-Semitic remarks, has been captured on video saying "I love Hitler" and glorifying the Holocaust.
Mr Galliano, 50, was summoned by Paris police yesterday to face three people who accused him of racially abusing them in a Parisian bar in two separate incidents. The fashion designer denies the allegations and has made counter-accusations that a couple on Thursday defamed, insulted and threatened him. However, a mobile phone video posted on the internet shows Mr Galliano making a verbal, racial attack on customers in a Paris bar in December. The Dior creative director, apparently the worse for drink, is captured in mid-argument.
A woman asks: "Are you blond, with blue eyes?" Mr Galliano, wearing a large, felt hat, replies: "No, but I love Hitler, and people like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be... gassed and... dead."
In the third alleged incident, a woman approached Paris police at the weekend claiming she had suffered anti-Semitic abuse from Mr Galliano in La Perle bar in the Marais district last October.
Christian Dior suspended Mr Galliano pending further investigations after the first allegations last Friday, saying it had a "zero-tolerance" policy on racism and anti-Semitism. The Gibraltar-born designer was to present the Dior autumn-winter ready-to-wear collection at the end of this week.
Mr Galliano's lawyer, Stéphane Zerbib, said yesterday that he knew nothing of the video and his client insisted he was not anti-Semitic. "What matters isn't what's on the internet, what matters are the testimonies and the hearings," Mr Zerbib said. "What's on the internet doesn't have much value."
Mr Galliano was driven to a police station near La Perle bar to meet his accusers. French police often bring plaintiffs and defendants together in private to test different versions of events. Mr Galliano made no comment as he arrived. After news reports of the first allegations, a young woman approached police to tell of a similar exchange with the designer in La Perle bar last October. This appears to have been a separate incident from the one shown on the telephone video.
The woman said Mr Galliano had begun to insult her for no reason. She said that she had thought no more of the incident at the time, assuming he had been drunk. After the reports of his comments to a Jewish and Asian couple in the bar last Thursday, she said she had decided to come forward.
The Jewish and Asian couple brought formal complaints alleging Mr Galliano said "Dirty Jewish face, you should be dead", and "Fucking Asian bastard, I will kill you". They also accused the designer of "mild acts of violence".
Under French law racial insults are punishable by fines of up to €22,500 (£19,000) and six months in prison.
* Female 1: "I can't believe he said that..."
* Female 2: "It's not good... [to Galliano] Are you blond... Are you blond with blue eyes?"
* Galliano: "No, but I love Hitler and people like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be fucking gassed and fucking dead."
* Females: "Oh my God."
* Female 2: "Do you have a problem?"
* Galliano: "With you – you're ugly."
* Female 2: "You don't like peace? You don't want peace in the world?"
* Galliano: "Not with people, like ugly people."
* Female 2: "Where are you from?"
* Galliano: "Your asshole."