Designer Galliano suing former employer Dior in French court

PARIS Wed Feb 6, 2013 11:31am GMT

British designer John Galliano appears at the end of his Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2011 fashion show for French fashion house Dior in Paris January 24, 2011. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

British designer John Galliano appears at the end of his Haute Couture Spring-Summer 2011 fashion show for French fashion house Dior in Paris January 24, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Benoit Tessier

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PARIS (Reuters) - Fashion designer John Galliano, fired from French couture house Dior in 2011 after an anti-Semitic outburst in public, has begun wrongful dismissal proceedings against his former employer.

Galliano, a talented and theatrical designer once at the top of the fashion world, will argue that he was fired "without real and serious cause," his lawyer, Chantal Giraud-van Gaver, told Reuters.

Earlier this week, a Paris labor court ruled that it had the right to hear the case. Dior, part of luxury goods group LVMH, will have two weeks to accept or contest that decision.

The court will not hear the case before October or November, Giraud-van Gaver added.

The once-stellar career of Galliano, 52, went south after the British designer was caught on camera making anti-Semitic remarks in a Paris cafe in 2011. A French court handed out a 6,000-euro ($8,100) suspended fine to Galliano in 2011 after he was found guilty of anti-Semitic behavior.

He has since apologized and last month issued a statement in which he said he has been in recovery from alcoholism for the past two years.

In January, Galliano did a three-week residency with Oscar de la Renta's New York studio before New York Fashion Week.

Giraud-van Gaver disputed that her client was seeking 15 million euros in damages, as some media have reported. She said Galliano was seeking damages, but would not specify a number.

LVMH have declined to comment on the case.

(Reporting By Chine Labbe. Writing by Alexandria Sage)

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