Who are Maurizio and Patrizia Gucci and what is House of Gucci all about? Here is a 7-point breakdown

The story of Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani is nothing short of incredible, but who were they and why is there a movie, House of Gucci, on them?

 |  4-minute read |   24-11-2021
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Named Black Widow by the Milanese media, the story of Patrizia Reggiani, the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci, is nothing short of incredible. The heir of Gucci, Maurizio, and the Italian socialite, Patrizia, were married in 1972 and had two daughters, Allegra and Allessandra. Even though Maurizio's dad, Rodolfo Gucci, called Patrizia “a social climber who has nothing in mind but money”, the couple was very much in love and enjoyed life in luxury till their divorce in 1994.

Now, there's a movie starring Lady Gaga and Adam Driver, called House of Gucci, in theatres.

But before we get to that, a bit about the House of Gucci.

On March 27, 1995, Maurizio was walking to work and was shot on the steps of his private office in Milan by a hitman, resulting in immediate death, and on January 31, 1997, Patrizia was arrested on charges of murder. So, what happened between the once-much-in-love couple and why did Patrizia have Maurizio killed?

First, a timeline of Maurizio and Patrizia’s relationship:



HOW WAS MAURIZIO KILLED? Here's a seven-point breakdown:

1. On the morning of March 27 1995, Maurizio was shot dead by a hired gunman on the steps of his private office in Milan. The incident was deemed an assassination, and at the time, authorities believed that it was motivated by money. The Irish Times reported on November 4, 1998, that Patrizia had paid her friend and clairvoyant Giuseppina 'Pina' Auriemma £250,000 to hire a hitman. Pina then asked a hotel porter, Ivano Savioni, to hire Benedetto Ceraulo as the shooter and Orazio Cicala as the driver.

2. Sara Gay Forden, writer of the book House of Gucci recounted the day and told Harper’s Bazaar why it took authorities two years to arrest Patrizia. She said, “The investigating magistrate fancied himself an investigator of economic and financial crimes, so that’s where his mind was. They were tapping Patrizia’s phone, but she and Pina (the clairvoyant) were talking in code about the money that she still owed the killers. There were talking about refurnishing the apartment and meters of fabric as a metaphor for the lira owed, so investigators didn’t pick it up.”

3. Patrizia pleaded mental instability during the trial. She argued that she was incapable of plotting the murder due to a brain tumour operation carried out in 1992. She and Cicala, the driver, were sentenced to 29 years in prison on November 4, 1998, while Savioni, the hitman hirer, was sentenced to 26 years, and Pina the clairvoyant to 25. The hitman, Ceraulo, was sentenced to life. 


4. When asked why House of Gucci author Forden thought Maurizio was killed, she told Harper’s Bazaar that Patrizia did it to protect her daughters. Seeing Maurizio’s reckless spending, Patrizia was afraid that there would be nothing left for their daughters. Forden said, “The judge summed it up really well when he issued her the sentence. He described how invested Patrizia was in the name and being part of the Gucci empire; he said that Maurizio died not for who he was, but what he had."


5. Director Ridley Scott is all set to release a biographical crime drama film titled House of Gucci on November 24, 2021. The movie stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci, Salma Hayek as Giuseppina 'Pina' Auriemma, Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo Gucci and Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci. It is based on Sara Gay Forden’s 2001 book  The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed and is set in Italy.

6. The Gucci family’s Patricia Gucci (Maurizio Gucci's first cousin) said that the family is deeply disappointed by the movie. She said, "They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system. Our family has an identity, privacy. We can talk about everything, but there is a borderline that cannot be crossed." As per Gucci, the family has three concerns: the lack of contact with Ridley Scott, the alleged inaccuracies in the book on which the film is based, and the casting of high-profile actors to play people who were not connected with the murder.”

7. Patrizia Reggiani told Italian magazine Novella 2000 in January 2021 that she approved of Lady Gaga playing her in the movie, but in March 2021 told Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata in an interview that she was ‘annoyed’ that Gaga had not reached out to meet her. She claimed, “It is not an economic question. I won't get a cent from the film. It is a question of good sense and respect.” Later in the same month, it was confirmed that the House of Gucci producers did not want Gaga to meet Patrizia and that they were "aware of not wanting to endorse or support the awful crime" she committed.

The House of Gucci releases in India on November 24, but you can watch it in theatres (only).


Ishita Srivastava Ishita Srivastava @ishitassrivas

Ishita Srivastava is passionate about writing on Politics, Business, Lifestyle and Entertainment. She is a Sub editor at DailyO.

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