Former Dior designer John Galliano took the stand in court and said he remembers nothing about allegedly using anti-Semitic slurs at a Paris cafe due to his "triple addiction" to alcohol, barbiturates and sleeping pills.
Galliano apologised for an anti-Semitic diatribe in a separate incident captured on video, posted on the internet and shown to the court, saying these are not his views but reflect instead "the shell of John Galliano... someone who needs help."
Charges that the outspoken British designer insulted several patrons of a Paris cafe with anti-Semitic remarks shocked the fashion world and cost Galliano his job at the renowned French high-fashion house.
Galliano's appearance at the one-day trial put him in the public eye for the first time in months. In a conservative look for him, Galliano was dressed in black with a polka dot neckerchief, sporting a pencil moustache and long hair.
The 50-year-old designer is charged with "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" and could face up to six months in prison and up to 22,500 euro (£20,130) in fines. The verdict is expected at a later date.
Journalists, including fashion writers, packed the wooden benches in the panelled, gilded courtroom, which features a high ceiling painted with a woman holding the scales of justice.
The famed designer was escorted to a front-row seat at the Justice Palace courtroom, sitting next to an interpreter as he faced the three judges who will decide his fate.
Presiding Judge Anne-Marie Sauteraud asked about the evening of February 24, when Galliano allegedly derided a couple with anti-Semitic insults.
Galliano repeatedly said he remembered nothing.
"I have a triple addiction. I'm a recovering alcoholic and a recovering addict," he said in English when asked why his memory was blank. He said he started drinking in 2007.