The situation began when word broke on the evening of Thursday, February 24th, that Galliano had been arrested while drunk for verbally assaulting a couple, in addition to making anti-Semitic statements to them in La Perle, a café in the Marais district of Paris. Though everything was hearsay, and there were even accounts that painted Galliano as the victim in the situation, the LVMH Group, which owns Dior, went ahead and suspended Galliano from all of his roles with the luxury company until the conclusion of a thorough investigation.
On February 28th, the video footage that would cause Galliano’s undoing was released. Although the video was not footage of the incident on the 24th, it did develop a pattern. Posted online by The Sun, the video caused more of a backlash than the first incident, as many saw no way to refute the evidence.
While Natalie Portman, a spokesmodel for Dior’s popular perfume Miss Dior Cherie, spoke out against Galliano about her disgust, and Karl Lagerfeld seemed to join her, it seemed that some in the fashion industry were hesitant to do so. Stefano Gabbana of Dolce & Gabbana stated that he was sorry for Galliano, while Giorgio Armani seemed more sorry that they taped him without his knowledge or consent, apparently attempting to place less importance on the statements made.
Other industry personnel began to deny it. Roberto Cavalli said, “I don't believe [it]. Because I know John since many years, he's such a wonderful person. I can't believe that he makes some racist [comments] toward somebody, because he's so international . . . I think that somebody wants to try to be bad with him. I think la Maison Dior should make [for] him [a] big red carpet because he helped Maison Dior to be what it is today. I don't want to judge anybody, but I love John and John, I am with you.”
Cavalli’s response was not the most drastic by far. Boy George laid the blame on Dior as news began to break that the video had been in possession of the LVMH Group for about a year. “Why didn't Dior put John Galliano into rehab? If that video was taken last year, he obviously needed help! Galliano was the face of Dior in that pitiful state and they thought it was cool? They have suspended him now so why not before?” he questioned.
New York designer Patricia Field sent out an email blast and posted notes to her Facebook page saying, “Beauty, intelligence and energy would describe John as I know him. Where in this trilogy could one find hate? I ask you! My second question is, what exactly did he say? And the third is, what is really going on here?” She went on to explain that Galliano lives in theater and that his statements were a part of that theater.
In the aftermath, the House of Dior has shown their Fall 2011 collection and allowed the artisans of the house to walk in Galliano’s place for the finale. The show for John’s eponymous collection has been cancelled and will instead be a small presentation for select editors and buyers.