John Galliano is set to blame his dependence on drink and prescription drugs for his racist outbursts in Paris.

The troubled fashion designer - who has been in rehab since he reportedly launched a verbal attack on a couple in a cafe in February - will attend the opening day of the trial today (22.06.11) and is expected to say his vices are to blame for the remarks he made, including calling Geraldine Bloch an "ugly, disgusting wh**e" with a "dirty Jew-face".

Lawyer Jean-Yves Dupeux, of French law firm Lussan & Associes, says, however, pleading dependence is not likely to work in the disgraced designer's favour.

He told WWD: "It's unusual in a case of insults, but it's not unusual in criminal cases. But it's not a very good line of defense, since jurisdictions consider that people dispose of free will and that if they are addicts, they should just go into rehab, and that if it has come to this, it's a bit their own fault."

Today's hearing will be held in front of three judges but no jury as it is a minor offence. It will hear from witnesses for both defence and prosecution.

The trial will address two separate incidents in Paris. One involving Geraldine and her partner Philippe Virgitti and another against Fathia Oumeddour, who has made claims concerning an incident in October 2010.