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House of Gucci: the incredible true story behind Lady Gaga’s new film

House of Gucci, the upcoming Ridley Scott's film, tells the true story of Patrizia Reggiani, who arranged the murder of Maurizio Gucci in 1997. 

House of Gucci
House of Gucci

House of Gucci, the upcoming Ridley Scott’s film, is already one of the most talked-about movies of the year. It tells the wild true story of Patrizia Reggiani, the glamorous socialite who was charged with arranging the murder of her former husband Maurizio Gucci in 1997. The hype amplified thanks to a series of photos showing Lady Gaga as Reggiani and Adam Driver as Gucci in costume.

The cast of “House of Gucci”

The cast is curently filming in different Italian cities, such as Milan and Rome. After her Oscar nomination for “A Star Is Born”, Lady Gaga was the obvious choice for the lead role. However, the real Patrizia Reggiani is less than thrilled with the casting because the star hasn’t reached out to her.

The rest of the cast is also impressive. Al Pacino will play Maurizio’s uncle Aldo Gucci while Jared Leto, the real Gucci muse, has been cast as his son Paolo.

The shocking true story behind the film

House of Gucci is based on a wild story of murder, madness, glamour and greed.

Maurizio and Patrizia’s story

Reggiani, the daughter of a waitress and a truck driver, met Maurizio, the grandson of fashion house founder Guccio Gucci, at a party in the early Seventies. The couple fell in love and they went on to marry in 1972. Maurizio’s father Rodolfo, tried to stop the wedding, believing Patrizia was just after money.

The couple, who had two daughters, became the top of the Milanese social scene. The Italian press defined Reggiani, now chief advisor for the brand, as ‘Lady Gucci’. She had an extravagant lifestyle: for example she used to spend around £8,000 per month on orchids.

When Rodolfo died in 1983, Maurizio inherited a 50 per cent stake in the fashion house and tried to oust his uncle Aldo. The family ended up in a bitter legal row that arrived to the New York Supreme Court.

Maurizio eventually gained control of the empire. But in 1985, he told his wife he was heading to Florence for business but he never returned to the family home. He had started a new life with interior designer Paola Franchi. After years of reckless spending, he had to sell his Gucci shares to Bahrain-based investment company Investcorp in 1993. This fact offended his former wife more than his infidelity.

The assassination and the trial

Then, on the morning of March 27, 1995, Maurizio was shot dead outside his Milan office. Various lines of investigation failed and the case went cold for two years. However, in 1997, an informant told Italian police he’d overheard a night porter boast about recruiting the killer. This led the investigations back to Reggiani. The police arrested and charged her with arranging her husband’s murder.

The trial made headlines around the world. Reggiani, the Black Widow, turned up to court each day wearing Gucci and protested her innocence. The prosecution claimed, however, that she had worked with four accomplices to organise the killing. Her fear was that her daughters would lose their inheritance if Maurizio married again.

One piece of evidence was Lady Gucci’s Cartier diary. In this diary, she wrote ‘Paradeisos’, the Greek word for paradise, on the date of Maurizio’s murder. Reggiani was sentenced to 29 years in prison, but she served just 18 years in Milan’s San Vittore prison. She referred to her imprisonment as her “stay at Vittore Residence”. In 2017, one year after her release, she gained a £900,000 annuity from Maurizio’s estate.

Reggiani, now 72-year-old continues to dish out quotes. “I didn’t hate Maurizio,” she said recently. “He just irritated me.”

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