Dior's Galliano wants honour back after second 'antisemitic' slur

Fashion designer John Galliano is planning to meet the woman who accused him of an antisemitic rant in a Paris café.

The British couturier’s lawyer, Stephane Zerbib said Mr Galliano would attempt to settle the matter with Geraldine Bloch and restore his reputation in a meeting tomorrow.

Ms Bloch, who is not Jewish, said she was called a "dirty Jew face" and that the designer threatened to kill her. Using an antisemitic slur is a crime under French law.

Mr Zerbib said his client, suspended from his role as chief designer for Christian Dior in the wake of the allegations, had no problem with racism or antisemitism.

Dior is not expected to cancel Mr Galliano's Paris Fashion Week show, scheduled for next Sunday, although the fashion house’s Jewish chief executive Sidney Toledano said last week that the company had zero tolerance for antisemitism or racism.

But despite Mr Galliano’s denials, in contrast to previous years very few stars appeared in Dior outfits at yesterday’s Academy Awards ceremony.

Even Jewish Best Actress winner Natalie Portman – the face of the Dior Beauty perfume – chose another designer.

“He wants his honour restored,” said Mr Zerbib. But a video from the same night published online today suggested this would be an uphill struggle.

The clip, obtained by the Sun, again called into question Mr Galliano’s attitude towards Jews. It showed him stating his love for Hitler and telling French and Italian tourists: "People like you would be dead. Your mothers, your forefathers, would all be f****** gassed."

Christian Dior, who died in 1957, set up the Dior label in 1946. During the Nazi occupation of France he worked at a Paris couturier. As noted in a Design Museum biography of him, the position involved him dressing the wives of Nazi officers and wartime French collaborators.

In the 1960s the label was tainted by another anti-Jewish scandal, when Mr Dior’s niece Françoise married the British National Socialist leader Colin Jordan. She was later convicted of perpetrating arson attacks on Jewish buildings.

Last updated: 5:52pm, March 2 2011