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GETTING A DEMERIT: John Galliano, ousted from Christian Dior and his signature fashion house last year in the wake of drunken outbursts at a Paris café, isn’t out of the woods yet. On Friday, word surfaced that the disgraced couturier, decorated as a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor at the Elysée Palace in 2010, has been stripped of the merit award. France’s official journal published the revocation, by decree of French President Francois Hollande in light of Galliano’s conviction for uttering racist and anti-Semitic insults.
Testifying in court last September, Galliano blamed work-related stress and multiple addictions for his behavior. The designer has kept a low profile since, focusing on his rehabilitation, even as champions like Anna Wintour, American Vogue’s editor in chief, lobby for him to find a second life in fashion.
Meanwhile, legal tussles over the incident continue. According to sources, Galliano lodged a claim at the Conseil des Prud’hommes, the French body which referees employer-employee disputes and contracts. The Conseil told WWD a hearing is scheduled for Feb. 4 in Paris, but declined to give further details.
Only lawyers have access to the files on the case, though the verdict, if one is reached, will be made available to the public. Such cases can take years, however, and the amount sought by Galliano — which one source pegged as north of 15 million euros, or $18.8 million — could be diminished should the designer resume gainful employment in the interim.
Galliano’s spokeswoman could not immediately be reached for comment.