Revenge of the "Black Widow": How love and money ruined the heir to the Gucci empire
Categories: CelebritiesBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/revenge-of-the-black-widow-how-love-and-money-ruined-the-heir-to-the-gucci-empire
Everyone was talking about the wedding of the grandson of the founder of the Gucci fashion empire Maurizio Gucci and the beautiful Patricia Reggiani in Italy. As a result, the heir Rudolfo Gucci, one of the richest people in the country, and the Florentine beauty were married for 18 years, but everything was destroyed by Maurizio's infidelity. Vindictive Patricia, not wanting to lose her husband, money and influence, decided to take an extreme measure and ordered his murder.
When Reggiani was asked why she did not shoot her husband herself, but preferred to hire a hitman, the woman simply replied: "I have poor eyesight. I didn't want to miss." As the wedding of Maurizio and Patricia became one of the most high-profile events of the early 70s, so the trial of the murder customer became a sensation of the second half of the 90s.
The detective story of the death of the heir of the Gucci family is so interesting that Ridley Scott was going to film it. The four-time Oscar nominee plans to give the role of Patricia to the outrageous Lady Gaga, which, in his opinion, will further fuel interest in the film. But this story is interesting in itself, without embellishment.
Patricia Reggiani came from a poor family, but at the same time, from a very young age, she dreamed of a luxurious life and fame. She did not want to do anything in order to get closer to her dream, as she had a pathological aversion to any work.
Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of the famous founder of Gucci, was also reputed to be a guy with "cockroaches in his head." The young man was too frivolous, shallow and wasteful to become a successful leader. It was hard to find a more unsuitable candidate to hand over the reins of a huge company.
Maurizio's first steps in the management of the company led to huge losses that called into question the very existence of the brand. But the situation was miraculously corrected when the board of directors dismissed the heir from business, and his part of the shares was sold. At the same time, the business ceased to be a family business. Nevertheless, Gucci remained incredibly rich and everyone in Italy knew his name.
In his personal life, the guy was much more lucky than in business. As a young man, Maurizio met a 22-year-old beautiful Patricia, who looked like a young Elizabeth Taylor and fell madly in love with her. In an interview with The Guardian , the woman told the following about the beginning of their relationship:
At that time, Reggiani was courted by many promising gentlemen, but the girl, who wanted to "sell" herself as successfully as possible, chose Gucci – the richest, most generous and assertive. I must say that Maurizio's relatives did not like his chosen one right away. Firstly, she came from the common people, and secondly, she absolutely did not want to study or work.
But Maurizio insisted on his own and two years after they met, in 1972, the couple got married. They were 24 years old and 18 years of marriage were ahead, filled, like any other couple, with happy moments, quarrels and reconciliations. The marriage produced two daughters, Alessandra and Allegra.
The family did not know the need for anything. Expensive parties, holidays on the islands, cruise yachts, expensive cars and shopping without restrictions quickly turned Patricia around and she realized that this was her element. But over time, the idyll began to be clouded by alarm signals.
The first problems in the family began in 1983, when Maurizio inherited 50% of the company's shares after the death of his father Rudolfo Gucci.
This is how the wife of the heir to the empire told about the beginning of conflicts after his death. Maurizio began to leave the house often on business and was sometimes absent for several days. In 1985, from one such business trip, he returned not home, but to his young mistress Paola Franchi and informed his wife that he was planning to divorce. It was a real blow for Reggiani, who felt the solid fertile ground slipping away from under her feet.
The divorce process lasted for 6 years and as a result, Patricia and her daughters received a meager $860,000 in annual alimony. The hopes that her children would inherit their father's property and money were very illusory, since Maurizio's new wife would claim part of the inheritance, and at the birth of a couple of children, they would have to be divided into even more modest parts.
The pain of jealousy was overlaid with fear for the future and Reggiani was simply distraught with anger at her ex-husband. While Gucci did not officially formalize a relationship with a new passion and just enjoyed a new romance, something had to be done and Patricia got down to business.
At one time, there were rumors that the massacre of Reggiani's former life partner was prompted by spiritualistic sessions, to which the woman became indifferent after the divorce. But most likely, the advice of the spirits has nothing to do with it and further events were influenced by information about the imminent wedding of Gucci and Franca.
The idea of murder originated with Patricia, but she herself could not realize her criminal plan and turned to a trusted friend for help. Giusepping Auriemma had been friends with Reggiani for many years and did not refuse to help in an important matter. Auriemma had connections with the mafia and it was not difficult for her to find the perpetrators of a well-paid murder.
For 350 thousand dollars, Ivano Savioni, Orazio Cicala and Benedetto Ceraula volunteered to kill Maurizio Gucci. The killers overtook the victim on March 27, 1995 on the steps at the entrance to his office and mercilessly shot him with a pistol, not forgetting the control shot.
The witness and at the same time the victim was the doorman Giuseppe Onorato, whom the killer wounded twice in the arm. In an interview with The Guardian, the man described the tragic events in which he unwittingly became a participant:
Onorato, who had lost a lot of blood, remembered the subsequent events very vaguely. He somehow managed to cover the distance to the mortally wounded Maurizio and put his head on his lap. Gucci died in the arms of Giuseppe Onorato, without waiting for the ambulance to arrive.
The murder shocked not only Italy, but the whole world. Many sinned against mafia showdowns, claiming that Gucci had problems with representatives of organized crime and owed them money. But soon everything became clear and society was waiting for a new shock when the names of the perpetrators and the customer of the murder became known.
One of the accused, Giusepping Auriemma, told the court that she got involved in this story only because she felt sorry for a friend who was heartbroken. According to her, Patricia's thoughts that someone got her man, power, status and money became an obsession and drove her crazy.
Paola Franchi, testifying in this case, confirmed Auriemma's words about Reggiani's obsession:
During the investigation, Reggiani tried to frame her best friend and claimed that she was blackmailing her. According to Patricia, Giusepping Auriemma herself organized the murder of Gucci, and she was confronted with the fact and promised to write a denunciation to the police if she was not paid.
As the trial neared its end, Reggiani admitted that she did not regret the round sum she gave to the killers – "It was worth every lira," she told the judges. All five defendants in the case were found guilty and received different terms of imprisonment. The main performer who committed the fatal shots for Gucci received a life sentence. Patricia paid for the treatment and rehabilitation of the doorman Giuseppe Onorato, who was injured in the attack on Gucci, and also paid compensation in the amount of 142,000 pounds.
Patricia Reggiani, as the customer and mastermind of the murder, was sentenced to 26 years in prison. Later, the term was reduced to 18 years, but the woman could not take advantage of this indulgence for a long time. The fact is that according to Italian law, early release is possible only if the prisoner, after being released, begins to work. Reggiani never worked, did not know how to do anything and told her lawyer the following: "I've never worked in my life and I'm not going to start now."
But later she had to change her principles and, after leaving prison, Patricia got a job as a consultant in a boutique of the Milan jewelry company Bozart. Jewelry was one of Reggiani's passions and such work seemed to her an acceptable compromise.
Everyone was very interested in what "Lady Gucci" would do immediately after leaving prison. As it turned out, many years behind bars did not change this woman at all and she immediately headed to Milan's Via Montenapoleone to visit fashion stores.
Finally, it should be said that the "Black Widow" Patricia Reggiani partially achieved her goal. The wedding of Gucci and Paola Franca did not take place and the only heirs of Maurizio's impressive fortune were his two daughters. The girls, who are now over 30, received millions in the accounts of their late father, as well as a yacht and real estate in New York, St. Moritz and Milan.
Reggiani herself declared herself bankrupt, but at the same time she is not in trouble – her daughters are very attached to her mother and she has no problems using the money that once belonged to her husband who was killed by her order. In an interview with The Guardian, the woman admitted that if she could talk to her ex-husband, she would tell him that she loves him very much and that he was everything to her in this life.
When journalists asked what, in her opinion, Maurizio could answer to this, she sadly said: "I think he would say that the feeling wasn't mutual."