11:49 02 March 2011
British fashion designer John Galliano has been sacked by Dior following his alleged anti-Semitic comments.
The fashion house said it had decided to fire him after seeing a video clip apparently showing Galliano telling two women in a Paris cafe: "I love Hitler."
Dior's chief executive, Sidney Toledano, said:
"I very firmly condemn what was said by John Galliano".
He also said that Galliano's comments "totally contradict the values which have always been defended by Christian Dior."
The 50-year-old designer's lawyer said he denied the allegations.
Oscar-winning actress Natalie Portman and face of Dior's Miss Dior Cherie fragrance has expressed her disgust at his remarks.
She said in a statement:
"In light of this video, and as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr Galliano in any way.
"I hope at the very least, these terrible comments remind us to reflect and act upon combating these still-existing prejudices that are the opposite of all that is beautiful."
The footage, posted online, allegedly shows the designer telling a Paris cafe patron:
"People like you would be dead today - your mothers, your forefathers would be gassed."
Galliano's dismissal comes on the first day of Paris fashion week. His Dior show is due to run on Friday, although it is not yet clear if it will now go ahead.
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