"House of Gucci" And The Sensational Crime That Shocked The World of Luxury Fashion

Immerse into a world of luxury, greed, murder, and controversy in this upcoming biopic about the murder of the Gucci heir.

The 1995 murder of Maurizio Gucci, the grandson of fashion designer Guccio Gucci, rocked the fashion world. What is even more shocking is that the crime was apparently committed by his former wife, Patrizia Reggiana. Now, 26 years later, today’s generation will see the events unfold in the Ridley Scott biopic House of Gucci.

Starring Adam Driver as Gucci and Lady Gaga as Reggiani, the film explores the latter’s murder plot against her ex-husband, and her subsequent trial, arrest, and release in 2016.

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Maurizio Gucci and Patrizia Reggiani. (Photos from People.com and Mega Agency)

Glamorized greed and betrayal

An Italian socialite, Reggiani married Gucci in 1972—to the protestations of his father—and eventually had two daughters. The high-profile couple frequented headlines particularly for their hard-fought battle to owning the Gucci brand.

Beyond this drama in the family dynasty, “Lady Gucci” (the media’s moniker for Reggiani) is known for her extravagance. Think of dark sunglasses, ostentatious jewelry and clothes, and 200-foot yachts. That is why it is not surprising she is also referred to as “Milan’s Elizabeth Taylor” and “Liz Taylor of luxury labels.”

Leading up to the crime, Reggiani found out her husband left her for a young lover. Worse, after his father’s death, Gucci sold his stakes in the company to Bahrain-based firm Investcorp for around $135 million. This move was brought on by the failures of Maurizio in handling the company. This eventually led to the family losing control of their brand, which is now under the Kering group.

LEFT: Benedetto Ceraulo and Orazio Cicala, the hitman and an accomplice in the murder. (Photo from Armando Rotoletti of Luzphoto)
RIGHT: Patrizia Reggiani during the funeral of Gucci. (Photo from Luca Bruno)

After their split, in 1995, Gucci was shot by a hitman in his office lobby. Reggiani became the primary suspect, but maintained her innocence.

In the course of the trials, however, Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma, a confidante of Reggiani’s testified against her. Auriemma, a psychic, claimed to give in to her friend’s request to find a killer for her ex-husband.

Reggiani denies this. However, the investigation revealed three other men involved in plotting the murder, including the hitman himself, Benedetto Ceraulo.

The five were all charged, with Ceraulo being sentenced to life imprisonment. For Reggiani, she refused to take a job in her first offer for release in 2011, claiming, “I’ve never worked in my life and I don’t intend to start now.” In 2014, however, she gave in to working a part-time position as a stylist in the jewelry firm Bozart. She was eventually released in 2016.

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Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci and Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani.
(Photos from Lady Gaga’s Instagram and Backgrid)
Driver and Gaga on set.
(Photos from Mondadori and Vittorio Zunino of Getty Images)

Star-studded

Sara Forden’s book, The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, is the basis for the biopic’s screenplay. To bring this to life, Ridley Scott who directed Academy Award-winning Alien (1979), will be working with his wife Giannina Scott.

As the leads, Driver and Gaga bear an undeniably striking resemblance to the tragic couple. Apart from them, expect to see Al Pacino, Jeremy Irons, and Jared Leto in the movie.

Jared Leto as Paulo Gucci. (Photos from Yahoo and Daily Mail)

House of Gucci will be released on November 2021 in the UK. Release dates for other territories will be announced soon.

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