Disgraced fashion designer John Galliano has apologized for a series of drug- and alcohol-fueled anti-Semitic rants that largely decimated his designing career.
“It’s the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn’t mean it,” said Galliano, 52, in an interview with Vanity Fair, asserting that he was “grateful” that falling out of favor had forced him to examine his ways.
During one incident in 2011, Galliano declared his love for Adolf Hitler at a Paris bar and told people he believed were Jewish that their mothers should have been gassed. The rant was filmed and widely circulated on the Internet.
In a separate incident, he harassed a museum curator for being Jewish.
After word of his abusive behavior got out, Galliano was dismissed from his position at the international fashion house Christian Dior and handed two suspended fines totaling €6,000 (NIS 29,000) by French authorities.
He was also stripped of his French Legion of Honor medal.
“When everyone came over to tell me I had done these terrible things, I was walking round and round and round not really knowing what had gone down,” he told Vanity Fair.
Despite previous apologies, Galliano’s controversial past has largely prevented him from working in the fashion industry.
As recently as last month, Parsons The New School For Design in New York said that plans to employ him at the school were reversed due to a protest petition that had garnered 2,000 signatures. The protest was led by Jewish students, the Forward reported.
“We do not want money from our tuition going to this kind of person,” the petition read. “We feel like we’ve been slapped in the face by our school. There should be no room for this kind of person as a staff member on the faculty at Parsons.”
Galliano’s interview with Vanity Fair was his first-ever sober interview, he said, asserting that he was not an anti-Semite and that during his extended period of rehabilitation, he had tried to come to terms with the rage that had fueled his outbursts.
“I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race,” he said. “I now realize I was so fucking angry and so discontent with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could.”