(CBS/AP) British fashion designer John Galliano apologized Wednesday for his behavior after famed fashion house Christian Dior fired him as creative director over anti-Semitic remarks.
"Anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society. I unreservedly apologize for my behavior in causing any offense," the 50-year-old said in a statement issued by his lawyers Wednesday.
Galliano's downfall began last Thursday, when he wasin a drunken state and questioned about accusations that he hurled anti-Semitic insults at a couple in a Parisian cafe. Another complaint about a different incident followed. Then a video of yet another incident surfaced Monday, in which Galliano said "I love Hitler," prompting Dior to fire its star designer after 14 years with the company.
Galliano said he completely denies the claims made against him, but accepts "that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people."
"I must take responsibility for the circumstances in which I found myself and for allowing myself to be seen to be behaving in the worst possible light," he said, adding that he is "seeking help and all I can hope for in time is to address the personal failure which led to these circumstances and try and earn people's forgiveness."
He added, "I only have myself to blame and I know that I must face up to my own failures. In all my work my inspiration has been to unite people of every race, creed, religion and sexuality by celebrating their cultural and ethnic diversity through fashion. That remains my guiding light."
Gallianoleft France Wednesday to enter a rehabilitation facility for alcohol problems.
He also added in the statement that he was "subjected to verbal harassment and an unprovoked assault when an individual tried to hit me with a chair having taken violent exception to my look and my clothing" during the incident on Thursday.
"For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me," he said.