John Galliano 'didn't mean' racist outbursts

John Galliano Galliano was convicted of making anti-Semitic remarks by a French court in 2011

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John Galliano has described his racist outbursts in 2010 and 2011 as the "worst thing" he has ever said, during what is thought to be his first interview since those events.

Galliano was given two suspended fines totalling 6,000 euros (£5,250) for his anti-Semitic rants in a Paris bar.

The disgraced designer was also sacked from his job at the head of fashion house Dior over the incidents.

The 52-year-old told Vanity Fair he is "grateful" for his fall from grace.

He insisted he is not a racist and said he had spent the past few years trying to atone for his words and actions, which he blamed on drug and alcohol addiction.

"It's the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn't mean it," he told the magazine. "I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race.

"I now realise I was so... angry and so discontent[ed] with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could."

Galliano was charged with "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" relating to incidents on the evenings of 8 October 2010 and 24 February 2011 at La Perle cafe in the Marais district of Paris.

During his trial the court heard how, in one incident, Galliano harangued museum curator Geraldine Bloch about being Jewish and hurled racist insults at her friend - of South Asian origin.

In a third incident, the court was shown an amateur video of Galliano, while drunk, declaring a love for Hitler.

John Galliano The incidents took place at La Perle cafe in the Marais district of Paris

"When everyone came over to tell me I had done these terrible things, I was walking round and round and round not really knowing what had gone down," he told Vanity Fair.

The once celebrated designer took over the creative direction of Dior in 1996 and was named British Fashion Designer of the Year on four occasions.

He has been largely shunned by the fashion world following his outbursts and has kept a low profile since his conviction, spending time at a rehabilitation facility in Arizona.

He told Vanity Fair his life had spiralled out of control and he believed he would have ended up "in a mental asylum or six feet under" if he had not changed his lifestyle.

The 52-year-old revealed he has been sober for two years and has been trying to make amends and possibly return to work.

"I have learned so much about myself," he said. "I have re-discovered that little boy who had the hunger to create, which I think I had lost."

Since his conviction, Galliano has designed a 1920s-style wedding dress for British model Kate Moss and has worked with New York-based designer Oscar de la Renta.

In May a planned three-day masterclass in New York was cancelled after he refused to have a "candid conversation" with students about his career.

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