John Galliano Gives His First Interview Since Dior Fired Him in 2011

John Galliano Gives His First Interview Since Dior Fired Him in 2011Photo by Annie Leibovitz

Claiming this is the first interview he's ever given while sober, John Galliano sat down with Vanity Fair for their July issue to talk about his anti-Semitic rant, his substance addiction and subsequent sobriety, and the steps he's taking to re-enter the fashion world. The interview will definitely be a compelling read, with the formerly beloved designer opening up about his personal and professional demons that led to an extremely ratchet and ultimately despicable scandal.

According to Galliano, drugs and alcohol were a huge force leading up to his outburst, and he claims that, due to his additions,  “I was going to end up in a mental asylum or six feet under.” After two years of sobriety, the 52-year-old explained his downfall into alcoholism and drug addiction.

"At first alcohol was like a crutch outside of Dior. Then I would use it to crash after the collections. I’d take a couple of days to get over it, like everyone. But with more collections, the crash happened more often, and then I was a slave to it. Then the pills kicked in because I couldn’t sleep. Then the other pills kicked in because I couldn’t stop shaking. I would also have these huge bottles of liquor that people got for me. Towards the end, it was whatever I could get my hands on. Vodka, or vodka-and-tonic. Wine, in the belief it would help me sleep. Wrong. I did manage to stop the voices. I had all these voices in my head, asking so many questions, but I never for one second would admit I was an alcoholic. I thought I could control it.”

At his lowest point, the designer had a team of assistants to perform the most mundane tasks for him. One would hold his cigarettes, and another would light them for him. Yet another would help him operate an A.T.M. The executives at LVMH attempted to intervene twice with Galliano's habits. Sidney Toledano, C.E.O. of Dior took the designer out to lunch and said he needed help. Later, Bernard Arnault, chairman and C.E.O. of LVMH, and Toledano confronted Galliano about his problem. In a somewhat hilarious, somewhat sad response, Galliano tore open his shirt to reveal his ripped body and asked, “Does this look like the body of an alcoholic?”

Galliano began blacking out for days as he binged, and claims that he doesn't remember the night in 2010 when he was videotaped saying, "I love Hitler. People like you would be dead today. Your mothers, your forefathers, would be fucking gassed and fucking dead." Two other parties came forward claiming separate instances of anti-Semitic and anti-Asian comments.

In the Vanity Fair interview, Galliano says “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.”

The interview also details Galliano's stint in an Arizona rehab facility in 2011, and how he desperately tried to still be a part of the fashion world that had discarded him. Ingrid Sischy, who conducted the interview, spoke with a wide range of sources for the article, including Kate Moss, Oscar de la Renta, Diane von Furstenberg, Elton John, Anna Wintour, Naomi Campbell, influential members of the Jewish community, the head of the Anti-Defamation League Abe Foxman, and several addiction specialists and major retailers. In other words, this will be a must-read article for anyone who followed the original scandal.

[via Vanity Fair

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