The real story behind House of Gucci is wilder than you could imagine

The film chronicles the rise and fall of the Gucci family dynasty – and what a fall it was, writes Olivia Petter

Saturday 27 November 2021 00:00
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<p>Lady Gaga at the premiere of ‘House of Gucci’ </p>

Lady Gaga at the premiere of ‘House of Gucci’

It’s a story stranger than fiction. No, wait. It’s even stranger than that. Of course, I’m talking about House of Gucci, the long-awaited Ridley Scott film starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver that’s now in cinemas everywhere. More than just a glitzy fashion film, this is a delicious cinematic cocktail comprising murder, incarceration, family rivalries and £5,000 handbags.

The film, which was adapted from Sara Gay Forden’s 2001 non-fiction book of the same name, chronicles the rise and fall of the Gucci family dynasty. And what a fall it was. In case you don’t know the story, allow me to get you up to speed. Maurizio Gucci, played in the film by Driver, was the son of Rodolfo Gucci, whose father, Guccio Gucci, founded the luxury fashion brand in his own name in 1906.

Following Rodolfo’s death, Maurizio acquired a majority stake in the company. This didn’t sit well with the other members of the Gucci family, of whom there were many; nor did the fact that Maurizio married Milanese socialite Patrizia Reggiani (Gaga). Cue a few lawsuits, the odd imprisonment, and an explosive divorce in 1994 that left Reggiani with a €2.5m (£2.2m) settlement and a yearly alimony payment of €650,000 (she famously described this as “a mere bowl of lentils”).

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