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House of Gucci: The true story behind Ridley Scott film starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver

Patrizia Reggiani was convicted in 1998 of ordering her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci’s murder

Clémence Michallon
New York City
Friday 30 July 2021 08:38 BST
Fans are going gaga over Lady Gaga’s Italian accent in House of Gucci

The trailer for House of Gucci, an upcoming crime film by Ridley Scott and starring Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, has dropped.

The pair star respectively as Maurizio Gucci, the one-time heir to the Gucci fortune, and Patrizia Reggiani, his ex-wife who was convicted in 1998 of ordering his murder three years prior.

House of Gucci, which is scheduled for release in November this year, is based on the nonfiction book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, published in 2012 by Sara Gay Forden. The volume is a 288-page of Gucci’s death and the events surrounding it.

Maurizio Gucci was the son of Sandra Ravel, an Italian actor, and Rodolfo Gucci, himself the son of Guccio Gucci, who founded the Gucci fashion house in 1921 in Florence.

Following the death of Rodolfo Gucci in 1983, Maurizio wrestled control of the house of Gucci away from his uncle, Rodolfo’s brother Aldo Gucci. As reported by The Associated Press at the time of Aldo’s death in 1990, Maurizio in 1984 “used his 50 percent of the company to seize control, oust Aldo, and bring in new, young, US-educated managers”. (Maurizio eventually sold his holdings to Investcorp, an investment company based in Bahrain, for a reported $100m in 1993.)

As Reggiani would later recall in an interview with The Observer, she and Maurizio met at a party, “and he fell madly in love with me”. The two married in 1972. By 1985, the union had soured, and Maurizio left the marriage “without warning”, according to The New York Times.

On 27 March 1995, Maurizio was shot dead outside his office in Milan by a gunman who fled the scene by car. He was 46 years old.

Maurizio Gucci was killed in Milan on 27 March 1995 (AP Photo)
Patrizia Reggiani at Maurizio Gucci’s funeral on 3 April 1995 (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Reggiani was arrested two years later, in 1997, and her high-profile trial opened in Milan in May 1998. Reggiani was accused, along with several co-conspirators, of orchestrating her former husband’s murder. The prosecution claimed she wanted to gain control of his estate; investigators at the time said they believed she feared Maurizio was about to marry another woman.

Reggiani, meanwhile, maintained her innocence, with her lawyers seeking to place the responsibility on a co-conspirator.

Reggiani was convicted in 1998 of ordering the murder and handed a 29-year prison sentence, which was later reduced to 26 years on appeal. “Evidently, they didn't believe me,” she said upon hearing the verdict, according to The New York Times, adding as she was being taken back to her cell: “Truth is the daughter of time.” Four other accomplices were also found guilty.

Patrizia Reggiani leaves Milan police headquarters on 31 January 1997 (AP Photo/Sergio Pontoriero/New Press)

Reggiani was released from custody in 2016.

“I think I am a very strong person because I survived all these years in captivity,” she told The Observer in a profile that same year. “I slept a lot. I took care of my plants. I looked after Bambi, my pet ferret.” Reggiani added of her years in custody: “I don’t like to talk about this time at all. It is all a bad dream to me.”

The House of Gucci is scheduled for release in the US on 24 November 2021. You can find out more about the film here.

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