De la Renta described Galliano, who lost his job at the French fashion house Christian Dior and has been shunned by many in the fashion world since the events in 2011, as a "very talented man."
"John has had a lot of issues, health issues, abuse, but I like John. He's a great guy and I was happy that I gave him that second chance and I hope that he will survive all of this," de la Renta said on the morning talk show "CBS This Morning."
The British designer worked with New York-based de la Renta for several weeks earlier this year. He was due to teach a master class at Parsons The New School for Design in New York but the class was canceled. The school said it could not agree with the designer on conditions for a "candid conversation" with students.
Before his ouster from Christian Dior, Galliano had been one of the most celebrated fashion designers of his generation and praised for his sumptuous collections.
A French court convicted Galliano of making "public insults based on origin, religious affiliation, race or ethnicity" during two episodes in a Parisian cafe. In a third incident, which was videotaped and made public, Galliano is shown taunting people in a cafe. He also received a suspended fine.
In an interview with Vanity Fair magazine in June, Galliano spoke about his use of alcohol and drugs, and said he has spent the past two years trying to make amends.
(Reporting by Patricia Reaney; editing by Mary Milliken and Andrew Hay)