Fashion Designer John Galiano attends Yves Saint Laurent’s Funeral Service on June 5, 2008 at Eglise Saint-Roch in Paris, France.(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
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John Galliano Speaks

The designer gives first post-scandal interview to Vanity Fair, we all move on

Stephanie Butnick
June 04, 2013
Fashion Designer John Galiano attends Yves Saint Laurent's Funeral Service on June 5, 2008 at Eglise Saint-Roch in Paris, France.(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

John Galliano has entered the final stage of his scandal-ridden 2010s—a relief for those of us who are ready for the embattled former Dior designer to get the chance to move on with his life—the sober, contemplative publicity tour. Galliano sat down for an interview with Vanity Fair (and an Annie Leibovitz photo shoot) in which he opened up about his 2011 anti-Semitic outburst and his subsequent ADL-assisted rehabbing—according to the interview, he’s been sober for two years.

The full interview will appear in the July 2013 issue of the magazine, but they’ve posted a preview online.

On his anti-Semitic tirade:

“It’s the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn’t mean it. . . . I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race. I now realize I was so fucking angry and so discontent with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could.”

On learning about the outburst:

All told there were three separate accusations of Galliano’s having made anti-Semitic tirades. Galliano reiterates that he does not remember the events of the night in 2010 when his remarks were videotaped, explaining, “When everyone came over to tell me that I had done these terrible things, I was walking round and round and round not really knowing what had gone down. My assistant told me about the video. When I saw it, I threw up. The feeling was like I was about to take a step out onto the street and a bus or truck whooshed past me and the blood was drained from my legs. I was paralyzed from the fear.”

And what he’s been doing since then:

Sischy reports that Galliano has spent the last couple of years learning about what he has to do to keep his illness at bay, facing up to what went wrong in his life, and taking certain steps to atone, including reading books on the Holocaust and Jewish history, meeting with Jewish leaders, and reaching out to members of the larger fashion community, including retailers, as part of the process of making amends and possibly returning to work.

Good luck, Galliano. Pretty please don’t make us write about you again?

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.