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A brief history of luxury: The assassination of Maurizio Gucci

 

 

A brief history of luxury: The assassination of Maurizio Gucci

On March 27, 1995, Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of Guccio Gucci, the businessman founder of the Gucci fashion house, was murdered in the streets of Milan. Ridley Scott’s upcoming film, The House of Gucci, scheduled for release in 2021, will revisit this high-profile case, with a stellar cast. The opportunity to trace the facts behind the death of the former director of the Italian label.

 

The filming in Italy of the new Ridley Scott‘s The House of Gucci has started recently, and already, the first images and the announcement of the cast are stirring the web. While the director is preparing his biopic on Napoleon, entitled Kitbag, the first images of the shooting show a Maurizio Gucci played by Adam Driver, alongside Lady Gaga, who will play his first wife Patrizia Reggiani. The release of the feature film is scheduled for November 24, 2021 in U.S. theaters.

 

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver on the set of The House of Gucci, directed by Ridley Scott.

 

The film The House of Gucci, adapted from Sara Gay Forden‘s novel, The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, tells the true story of how Patrizia Reggiani ordered the murder of her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, on March 27, 1995. This legal case was a major news story and made the front pages of newspapers in Italy and around the world for several years.

 

The facts took place on the porch of Maurizio Gucci‘s office, at 38 Corso Venezia in Milan, on March 27, 1995. Maurizio Gucci, 46 years old and then head of the Italian luxury house, was shot three times in the back, and then once, which cost him his life, in the temple. His doorman, having witnessed this horrific scene, was also shot in the arm while trying to assist Maurizio.

 

Italian police carrying the body of Maurizio Gucci © Archivio Corsera

 

It was an electric shock that shook the entire peninsula: Maurizio Gucci was murdered. From then on, several leads and suspects emerged. The first hypothesis is that of internal conflicts within the house of Gucci. Indeed, the heir Maurizio Gucci had, two years earlier, sold the 50% of capital he owned in Investcorp, an investment company in Bahrain, under pressure from other members of the Gucci family. However, the Italian police rejected this thesis, which was not sufficient, according to them, to justify the acts committed against the businessman.

 

So, another track is privileged: it would be his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani, who would have ordered the murder of Maurizio Gucci. All the spotlights are then focused on the one who had been nicknamed the “Black Widow” by the Italian media. Patrizia and Maurizio met in the 1970s at a party organized by mutual friends from Milan‘s high society. They quickly fell under each other’s spell, and Patrizia and Maurizio said yes in 1972, and their union gave birth to two daughters, Allegra and Alessandra. The couple alternated between their life in Milan and New York, where they became friends with the billionaire Aristotle Onassis, but also with some members of the Kennedy family.

 

Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani in the 70s © Umberto Pizzi

 

In 1983, after the death of his father, Maurizio took over the helm of Gucci. It is at this time that the couple deteriorates, while Maurizio strives to save the Italian label, which is going through a period of inglorious. Gucci was bought by a United Arab Emirates investment company, Investcorp, and it wasn’t until 1994, with the appointment of Tom Ford as artistic director, that the house of Gucci regained its grandeur. At the same time, Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani no longer get along and Maurizio finally can’t stand his wife’s narcissistic personality and leaves the family home. A decade passed without Patrizia Reggiani accepting the divorce, and Maurizio was dating an Italian decorator, Paola Franchi, at the time.

 

Finally, less than a year before the murder, in 1994, she finally came to terms with the situation, and during one of his invitations to television, she said that the compensation of 3 billion Italian lire (equivalent today to 1.5 million euros) paid by her husband is too low for a woman “of his rank”. Maurizio‘s ex-wife does not intend to be satisfied with this amount, while Maurizio‘s fortune amounts to 800 billion lire (about 400 million euros) and his heritage includes several apartments around the world, as well as an impressive yacht.

 

From then on, Patrizia Reggiani started looking for a hitman. “I asked everyone, it was an obsession, I would have even asked my butcher!“, she said before the jury during his trial, a few years later, denying however to be passed to the act. In 1997, while the investigation was at a standstill, a new character, Ivano Savioni, will direct the Italian police towards a new suspect: Patrizia Reggiani. Indeed, the 40-year-old Milanese will reveal to the investigators that he would have played a role in this assassination, serving as a go-between between Patrizia Reggiani and the two assassins she would have hired to kill her ex-husband.

 

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Patrizia Reggiani (right) accompanied by her friend and psychic Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma © Corriere Della Serra

 

The Italian police, who had wiretapped the young Milanese, obtained a crucial piece of evidence in the case through Ivano Savioni. During an interview with the psychic and close friend of Patrizia, GiuseppinaPinaAuriemma, the two Italians openly discuss the murder ordered by Patrizia Reggiani and allow investigators to learn that Patrizia would have poured more than 600 million lire (the equivalent of 300,000 euros) in order to organize the murder of Maurizio Gucci. This information led to the arrest of all suspects on January 31, 1997. Patrizia will not recognize the facts attributed to her, claiming to have been tricked by her entourage. Her strong personality will make the trial an event worthy of a talk show before it is concluded by a sentence of 26 years in prison for the black widow and the incarceration of her accomplices.

 

In 2011, she was offered by the judges a semi-liberty, alternating prison and employment, something that Patrizia Reggiani categorically refuses, stating: “I have never worked in my life, it is certainly not now that I will start”. However, she finally accepted this proposal and was allowed to regain her freedom two years later, after 16 years of imprisonment. Immediately after her release, Patrizia Reggiani went shopping in the famous shopping avenue, Via Monte Napoleone, with an Ara parrot on her shoulder. She will give several interviews to journalists and will even declare that she wants to work at Gucci. An astonishing statement, which will not hit the mark at the brand with two Gs.

 

Patrizia Reggiani wearing an Ara parrot after her release from prison

 

 

Read also > FASHION HISTORY: THE CHANEL JACKET, THE HOUSE’S ICONIC DESIGN FOR 100 YEARS

 

Featured photo: © Press

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