For those who tuned into The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story earlier this year, there’s another 90s-era fashion news sensation everyone’s talking about. This time with the focus on the Gucci family dynasty. The (currently nameless) hyped true-crime thriller is to be directed by Sir Ridley Scott and based on Sara Gay Forden’s book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed. Read BURO.’s breakdown of the sensational true story you’ve probably never heard of, until now.
Maurizio Gucci, 1994
The movie, directed by Scott, will take a closer look at the murder of Maurizio Gucci (the last of the Gucci family dynasty to run the luxury brand and the grandson of the international fashion brand’s founder, Guccio Gucci). Lady Gaga will portray Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, who was convicted of hiring a hitman to kill her estranged husband outside his Milan office in 1995 in a mafia-style hit.
patrizia reggiani in court, 1998
23 years later after his murder, the Gucci/Patrizia Reggiani case remains one of fashion’s biggest mysteries. According to Variety; “[Reggiani] had been abandoned after 12 years of marriage by Maurizio Gucci in 1985 for a younger woman. Reggiani was tried and convicted of orchestrating her ex-husband’s assassination on the steps of his office in Italy in 1995.” Adding, “She gained the nickname the ‘Black Widow’ during the trial and served 18 years before being released from prison in 2016.” She was sentenced to 29 years, but released earlier due to ‘good behaviour.’
Maurizio Gucci and wife Patrizia Reggiani in the 80s
Gucci’s ex-wife and former socialite was dubbed by Italian locals as the “Liz Taylor” in the 1970s and 80s (due to sharing similar looks and a fondness for lots of bijoux), as well as simply “Lady Gucci.” Three years before Gucci’s murder, she underwent brain surgery to remove a tumour and, in an attempt to get the murder verdict overturned, her two daughters argued this event had affected her behavior.
patrizia reggiani at the funeral for maurizio gucci, 1995
Reggiani, however, has always maintained her innocence. She says that her best friend set her up. ''Never let even a friendly fox into the chicken coop,'' she said during her 1998 trial, according to the Times. ''Sooner or later it could get hungry.''
“I think I am a very strong person because I survived all these years in captivity," she said in a Guardian profile interview in 2016, after being released from prison. "I slept a lot. I took care of my plants. I looked after Bambi, my pet ferret."
In an even more bizarre case of events, in 2017 Reggiani was awarded an annuity of £900,000 from Gucci's estate - due to an agreement that Mr Gucci signed in 1993, two years before his murder – and is entitled to back payments from her time behind bars, which would amount to more than £16 million.
Let the conspiracy theories begin…