John Galliano will stand trial in Paris on June 22 on charges of verbally abusing three people with anti-Semitic and racist slurs on two separate occasions.
The British-born designer - who was sacked from French couture house Christian Dior after allegedly launching into an anti-Semitic rant in a Parisian cafe during which he said he loved Nazi leader Adolf Hitler - faces a fine of $32,000 or six months imprisonment if he is found guilty.
Galliano's lawyer Aurelien Hamelle claims his client was provoked, saying at the hearing at the Palais de Justice in Paris: "The question is to know who said what at what moment."
The three plaintiffs - Geraldine Bloch, Philippe Virgitti and Fathia Oumeddour - allege the designer hurled insults at them in Paris on two separate occasions, one in October 2010 and other in February this year.
Galliano's lawyer revealed his client - who didn't appear at the hearing - isn't currently in France, but refused to reveal his whereabouts.
In March he reportedly checked into The Meadows rehab clinic in Arizona after being urged to get help for his alcohol problems by Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.