British ‘bad boy’ designer John Galliano has begun a court battle to seek damages over his sacking as Christian Dior Artistic Director in the aftermath of his anti-Semitic outburst in a Paris bar.
Galliano’s lawyer Chantal Giraud-van Gaver has confirmed a report in industry journal Women's Wear Daily, that claimed a first round victory in the case after a tribunal ruling.
France’s Labor Relations Tribunal has reportedly dismissed arguments by lawyers for Dior Couture that the case should go before a commercial tribunal because he was more of an independent subcontractor than a subordinate or employee and ruled that it was competent to hear the case.
"Dior failed in its strategy of contesting the existence of a work contract in the face of all the evidence," Giraud-van Gaver told AFP.
Dior has 15 days to file an objection before the case will be referred to the Paris appeal court. If not, a hearing to examine Galliano's compensation claims before the Labor Relations Tribunal would likely be held by the end of the year, AFP said.
The exact amount of Galliano’s compensation claim has not been disclosed.
"He earned a lot of money. What he is seeking is proportionate to that, so it is by virtue of that a lot of money," Giraud-van Gaver told AFP.
According to Women's Wear Daily, the hearing heard that at the time of his sacking Galliano earned a fixed gross annual salary of $1.3 million from Christian Dior Couture. On top of it, he allegedly earned $2.7 million as artistic director of his own brand John Galliano.
In 2011 Galliano was convicted of hurling anti-Semitic insults at a couple in a Paris café. It later turned out Galliano had made similar remarks at the same café a year before. Galliano blamed the outburst on drink and drug problems and told the court he remembered nothing of his anti-Semitic tirade.
He was stripped of the Legion of Honour medal given to him by the French Government for his services to fashion.