Fiat heiress set for court fight over will

A feud at the Fiat dynasty has taken a dramatic turn after a close adviser to the car-maker's founding Agnelli family agreed to take up a court challenge from the only surviving child of the late Gianni Agnelli.

Margherita Agnelli has accused Gianluigi Gabetti of keeping her in the dark about the true value of her father's will. In May 2007, Ms Agnelli, whose father died in 2003, said she was suing Mr Gabetti and two other advisers.

She claimed Mr Gabetti had insulted her after Mr Agnelli died, declaring, "You don't deserve to be the daughter of Gianni Agnelli", and that he and others prevented her inheriting her rightful share of her father's wealth.

But Mr Gabetti, 84, came out fighting in the Corriere della Sera, declaring: "I have been the object of unpleasant and unfounded insinuations by Margherita and her lawyers since May 2007. They continue to depict me as a grand vizier who would like to be the sultan." He rejected Ms Agnelli's charges out of hand. He pointed out that it was Ms Agnelli herself who, in September 2004, had stated publicly that an "equitable solution in the interests of the family and of all my children" had been reached.

Months went by, Mr Gabetti said, and Fiat's fortunes took a turn for the better under new management. But then in May last year, "like a thunderbolt from a cloudless sky came word of this law suit". In October Italy's Court of Cassation rejected an appeal by Mr Gabetti and the rest of the family and decided that the case Ms Agnelli had brought should be heard in Italy and not in Switzerland. But yesterday, Mr Gabetti said he was now in favour of the Italian court hearing as the only viable way out of the impasse.

A source close to the family said the suit was particularly shocking for Mr Gabetti and Ms Agnelli's relatives – including her mother and two sons – because her earlier agreement to what she described as an "equitable solution" was reached after an exhaustive process. "She has never made clear what assets she is talking about or where they might be located," said the source, who declined to be named.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: UX Consultant

£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...

Recruitment Genius: Part-time Editor

£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Executive

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An exceptional opportunity has arisen for a pa...

Recruitment Genius: Kitchen and Bathroom Installers

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This provider of designer kitch...

Day In a Page

Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935
The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border