Richard Avedon, 2003

At least one person wasn’t really caught off guard by John Galliano’s recent spectacular downfall: The New Yorker‘s Michael Specter (who profiled Galliano in 2003) says it was about as shocking as discovering that Charlie Sheen is a “vulgar fool.”

According to Specter, Galliano has always been a victim of his own indulgences:

His career, and his life, were built on twin pillars of excess and exhibitionism. He was a slave to addiction; those addictions rotated through the years: drugs, sex, alcohol, exercise, and finally, and most damagingly, his own public image.

Specter goes on to say that it should shock no one that when an extraordinary talent (or “savant,” in this case) is surrounded by sycophants and handed gobs of money, the result is too volatile not to eventually topple. Though Galliano got himself into this current mess, Specter suggests we transfer some of our anger to his “enablers”:

He deserves all the blame and ignominy that befalls him. But let’s watch the self-righteous indignation and reserve a little anger for the enablers. Because when it comes to people like John Galliano, there are way too many of them to count.

Read the piece in full over at The New Yorker.