© Remy De La Mauviniere/Associated Press
The British fashion designer John Galliano in Paris in July 2010 at the end of the presentation of his Fall-Winter 2010-2011 Haute Couture collection for Christian Dior.
The French fashion house Christian Dior said Tuesday that it would dismiss its chief designer, John Galliano, after the surfacing of a video that showed his anti-Semitic outbursts at a Paris bar.

In a brief statement, Sidney Toledano, Dior Couture's chief executive, said he condemned ''in the strongest terms'' Mr. Galliano's words, ''which are in total contradiction with the essential values that have always been defended by the Christian Dior house.''

Dior, however, was still planning to go ahead with its autumn/winter 2011 ready-to-wear show on Friday as part of Paris fashion week. A spokeswoman for a separate label, John Galliano, said its women's wear show would also go ahead as scheduled Sunday.

Known as the ''bad boy'' of the fashion world for his flamboyant and provocative style, Mr. Galliano helped to energize Dior after he joined it in 1996 as creative director, increasing sales and making it a jewel of the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton luxury-goods empire run by the French billionaire Bernard Arnault. LVMH also owns the John Galliano line. Olivier Labesse, a spokesman for LVMH, did not return calls seeking comment on the designer's role there.

The departure of one of its most important designers has left the fashion world buzzing with questions. Dior, which was founded in 1945, is one of the few labels still specializing in haute couture.

In its statement, Dior said it had ''immediately suspended relations'' with Mr. Galliano and ''initiated dismissal procedures.'' It cited the ''particularly odious comments'' contained in the video posted Monday.

The video was posted on the Web site of the British tabloid newspaper The Sun. It appeared to show Mr. Galliano taunting patrons at a Paris bar, declaring in a slurred voice that ''I love Hitler'' and that ''people like you would be dead,'' and ''your mothers, your forefathers'' would all be ''gassed.'' It was unclear when the video was recorded or who recorded it.

Then, late Monday, the actress Natalie Portman strongly condemned Mr. Galliano, saying in a statement that she was ''deeply shocked and disgusted by the video.'' She added, ''as an individual who is proud to be Jewish, I will not be associated with Mr. Galliano in any way.''

Ms. Portman recently signed an endorsement deal with Dior for its Miss Dior Chérie perfume. There had been speculation that she would choose a Galliano design for the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday. Instead, Ms. Portman wore a gown from the fashion house Rodarte. It was not yet known whether her contract with Dior would be affected or how far any intervention by Ms. Portman might have forced the hand of LVMH.

Before the video was released, Mr Galliano had already been questioned by the police, last Thursday, after an incident at the bar, La Perle, in the trendy Marais district of Paris. He has been accused by two other clients - Geraldine Bloch, 35, and Philippe Virgitti, 41 - of making an anti-Semitic slur.

French law makes it a crime to incite racial hatred; the statute has been used in the past to punish anti-Semitic remarks. The French advocacy group SOS Racisme said that it would support legal proceedings if the accusations were confirmed. ''Mr. Galliano has added to the ignominy of his words with the cowardice of a denial,'' it said in a statement.

Mr. Galliano's lawyer, Stéphane Zerbib, did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday. He has denied that Mr. Galliano made any anti-Semitic comments in the incident last week and has submitted testimonials of support from employees and witnesses at the bar as part of defamation complaints filed against Ms. Bloch and Mr. Virgitti. Mr Galliano and his partner, Alexis Roche, could not be reached for comment.

A police spokeswoman also declined to comment Tuesday, except to say that witnesses, including Mr. Galliano, had been questioned Monday in a police station in the third arrondissement of Paris, where the bar is located, and subsequently released. She referred all questions to the Paris prosecutor, who did not return calls seeking comment. According to French media reports, the police questioned the owner of La Perle, the bar's security staff and other clients.

One person who witnessed last week's incident at the bar - Lyes Meftahi, 38, a Parisian, who runs an audiovisual company - said that Mr Galliano was certainly drunk, speaking slowly and slurring his words. But he said that the designer was keeping to himself and was ''provoked'' by a woman, who had called Mr. Galliano ''ugly.'' Mr. Meftahi heard no anti-Semitic slurs and said that Mr. Galliano himself was threatened with violence at one stage during the altercation.

Mr. Meftahi said Mr. Galliano was a frequent visitor to the bar, which is near where he lives. He used to turn up in his sport utility vehicle and was accompanied by his driver, who kept a watchful eye over his client. The bar is often frequented by stars, who seem to like the fact that they can drink there discreetly.

Mr. Galliano was suspended by Dior on Friday. The fashion house cited its ''unequivocal zero-tolerance policy regarding anti-Semitism and racism.''

There was a sense of shock inside LVMH at the extent of Mr. Galliano's personal problems. The Dior chief, Mr. Toledano, is himself Jewish. The company had initially planned to keep the designer suspended pending an inquiry, but moved to act swiftly after diffusion of the video. Dior was not yet commenting on succession issues.

Regardless of any legal action, Mr. Galliano will struggle to bounce back strongly in the fickle and high-octane world of fashion, in which there is no shortage of talented individuals who have been left by the wayside.

''The trouble with fashion is that it's a hard job and in the end it makes you crazy,'' said Donald Potard, who runs the fashion consulting firm Agent de Luxe and is a former chief executive of the label Jean Paul Gaultier. ''There's so much pressure to create and create all the time. You must be strong or this job will destroy you.''

''John's now going to have to cross the desert, and when he returns, he might find that he has few friends,'' he added. ''It's a cold, cruel world.''

Several people who have interacted with the designer recently said that his behavior had become erratic and that he had been drinking heavily. Before that, Mr. Galliano's long-term collaborator and confidant Steven Robinson had died at age 38 in Paris in 2007 after a heart attack.

''It's a violent end to the story,'' said Gaspard Yurkievich, a Paris-based designer. ''It's very sad - a human tragedy - it's ghastly!''

Observers said that LVMH might have felt compelled to act after a racist outburst on French television last year from Jean-Paul Guerlain, a descendant of the founder of the eponymous perfume house, owned by LVMH. Mr. Guerlain was a famous ''nose'' and had retired from the company some years earlier but remained a consultant.

Some days after the outburst LVMH released a statement condemning ''all forms of racism.'' It was perceived by many in the industry to have reacted too slowly.

Back in 2009 the outlook for many fashion houses looked weak. Indeed, two fashion firms - Christian Lacroix of Paris, which had been to be part of LVMH, and Escada of Germany - had filed for bankruptcy.

But now LVMH appears to be in good health after successfully navigating the financial crisis and benefiting from demand from the newly affluent, especially in Asia. The company, which also owns brands like Dom Pérignon Champagne, Hublot watches and Louis Vuitton, said this month that sales in 2010 rose 19 percent to €20.3 billion, or $28 billion. Net income surged 73 percent to €3 billion and the group increased its dividend.

Mr. Arnault has also taken a 20 percent stake last year in the rival French fashion house Hermès International, which has led to even greater fears of dominance by the group over the fashion industry.

Laurent Laughlin contributed reporting from Paris.