French fashion house Christian Dior said on Friday that it had suspended its design director, John Galliano, after he was accused of making an anti-Semitic slur during a drunken tussle at a Paris bar.
"Christian Dior has an unequivocal zero-tolerance policy regarding anti-Semitism and racism," the chairman and chief executive of Christian Dior Couture, Sidney Toledano, said in a statement. The statement said Mr. Galliano, had been suspended pending the conclusion of a police investigation into the incident, according to New York Times.
Galliano was arrested and taken to a police station for a sobriety test, where he was found to be just over the legal limit. Police then escorted him to his home.
Galliano's lawyer, Stephane Zerbib, told Agence France Presse: "There was an altercation. Mr Galliano was verbally attacked but at no moment did he make these insults. We have witnesses to that effect."
He said Galliano was not at all in the "state of mind" described and "will explain later". He added that "legal action would be taken against those making such accusations".
Galliano, 50, who has been Dior's acclaimed creative director for 14 years. Galliano had been due to present his autumn-winter collections for Dior and his own label at next week's Paris Fashion Week, The Guardian reports.
Galliano, born in Gibraltar, the son of a British plumber and a Spanish mother, has been billed as one of the most influential designers of our time.
He attended London's renowned Saint Martin's College of Art and Design, where his 1984 graduation show called "Les Incroyables" was themed on the 1789 French revolution.
His often spectacular shows are inspired by history and his own travels around the world. He moved to Paris in 1993, France24 says.