John Galliano, top Dior designer, facing trial for racial remarks

John Galliano at the end of his Men's fall 2011 ready-to-wear fashion show on Jan. 21, 2011, in Paris (Getty Images)
John Galliano to stand trial for racial remarks
John Galliano
Getty Images/Francois Guillot

(CBS/AP) PARIS - French prosecutors have ordered British designer John Galliano to stand trial for allegedly making racial insults during an altercation at a Paris cafe last week.

The trial could take place between April and June, officials said. If convicted, Galliano could face up to six months in prison and the equivalent of about $31,000 in fines.

Capping a five-day whirlwind of scandal around the designer, prosecutors said Galliano will face allegations of "public insults based on the origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" of three people.

The news comes shortly after the talented 50-year-old designer apologized"unreservedly" for his behavior.

Top-tier fashion house Christian Dior firedGalliano as creative director Tuesday after a video of him surfaced in which he was shown saying "I love Hiter."

When the video emerged, Galliano was already suspended from his duties by Dior, after he was detained in a drunken state by French police last Thursday over allegations he verbally assaulted a couple with anti-Semitic remarks.

The scandal surrounding one of the industry's most talented and profitable designers have sent shock waves through Paris Fashion Week, which began Tuesday.

Galliano broke his silence on the latest incident Wednesday, saying, "I completely deny the claims made against me and have fully co-operated with the police." But he said that he fully accepts "that the accusations made against me have greatly shocked and upset people."

The couturier claimed 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."

"For these reasons I have commenced proceedings for defamation and the threats made against me," he said.

Galliano made no mention of the video in his statement and instead said, "anti-Semitism and racism have no part in our society."