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May 29, 2015 7:25 pm

Seeking to Mend Bridges, Designer John Galliano Helps Launch London Jewish Educational Project

avatar by Eliezer Sherman

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Italian-British fashion designer John Galliano helped launch a Jewish learning center.

Fashion designer John Galliano, attempting to make amends for a drunken rant at a bar several years ago in which he declared his love for Adolf Hitler, appeared at the launch of a Jewish educational project in London on Thursday and said he had “come to terms” with his actions.

“I used to blame everyone for what happened, but now I bear no resentment. I have finally come to terms with that happened and what was my part in it,” said Galliano, who was speaking at the launch of a new program called CONNECT, which is an educational partnership between three Orthodox synagogues.

“I am an alcoholic,” admitted the designer, who was fired from a prestigious position at Christian Dior shortly after the rant at a posh Paris bar. “I do take responsibility for my recovery and making amends. I get a daily reprieve from this disease and that comes from total abstinence.”

Galliano was part of a panel discussing fashion. He told members of the initiative that he had “become spiritual.”

“I want to share with the community,” he said.

The fashion designer appeared alongside Rabbi Barry Marcus of London’s Central Synagogue, who has been instrumental in Galliano’s rehabilitation process.

According to The Guardian, Marcus was in the front row at Galliano’s first show at Belgian fashion house Maison Margiela in January. On Thursday, Marcus called for “forgiveness.”

“I am asking because most people, apart from the angels among us, most of us have done something we regret,” said Marcus.

Galliano’s rant, which was actually the second time the designer was caught on video professing his love to the Nazi dictator, also landed him with a 6,000 euro ($6590) fine from a French court for public insults. Shortly thereafter, he flew to the U.S. for rehab.

Thursday’s event was certainly among the more low-key fora where Galliano has offered his apologies since Dior fired him. The designer offered his apologies on Charlie Rose, in Vanity Fair and even to the plaintiffs in his own case.

According to Galliano’s lawyer, the designer was suffering a triple addiction to alcohol, Valium (a potent benzodiazepine) and sleeping pills.

Among his recent supporters, actress Natalie Portman had commended his efforts to seek forgiveness.

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  • Lynne T

    What a marked and wonderful contrast between Galliano’s decisions after his major public embarrassment and the unrepentent Mel Gibson.

  • Denis Vandervelde

    So he ‘bears no resentment’. How generous of him. Nothing less than a grovelling apology would be appropriate. Over-indulgence in alcohol or drugs does not induce a specific hatred, it only releases the bigot from any inhibitions.

  • Years ago, one could accept the point of view by these Rabbis,no longer in this day and age of rising fascism in my opinion.
    The Rabbi’s approach of: get on the train to the promised land, repent and forgive worked well perhaps in biblical times but did not work in the Twentieth Century very well.Get a grip, get real………..never again!

    Perhaps the Rabbi should go to the same rehab!

  • Paul

    This man has swapped his previous headlines against Jews for these headlines, repenting. I prefer no headlines about him.