Fashion designer John Galliano has been arrested in Paris on suspicion of assault and anti-Semitism after allegedly attacking a couple in a bar. He has been suspended from Dior, pending an investigation.

Galliano, who has been Dior’s creative director for 14 years, is accused of making anti-Semitic remarks after a drinking session in Paris which allegedly ended with the fashion icon attacking and verbally abusing a couple, police said.

Galliano was partying in the upmarket Marais district, had apparently drunk the equivalent of two bottles of wine. According to reports, slaps were exchnaged in the heated incident which led to the designer’s arrest.

In France, making anti-Semitic remarks is punishable by up to six months in prison. However Galliano has not been charged with any offence and was escorted home from the police station.

Galliano has denied making anti-Semitic remarks. However Dior says in a statement that it is suspending Galliano pending
an investigation into the incident.

A Paris police spokesman said: “We don’t know the precise nature of the incident but Mr Galliano was detained after a couple made a complaint last night.

“The level of alcohol in his blood was tested and he was then released.

“He had been drinking quite heavily.”

Police said it was not known if Galliano knew the couple involved in the incident.

“For the moment we don’t know what led him to address the couple,” a source told AFP.

“We don’t yet know if they knew each other or not.”

Galliano’s lawyer, Stephane Zerbib, told AFP that the designer “denies the accusations of anti-Semitism made against him” and will be taking legal action “against those making such accusations”.

Zerbib added that Galliano “is not at all in this state of mind [and] will explain later”.

Thursday night’s incident is believed to have occurred on a cafe terrace in Paris’ Marais district, which has historic associations with the Parisian Jewish community, and, in recent years, with the gay community.