After her Oscar-nominated performance in A Star Is Born, Lady Gaga will once again be returning to our screens, this time portraying Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani in Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci. The film will focus on how Patrizia planned the murder of her ex-husband Maurizio Gucci, grandson of Gucci’s founder Guccio Gucci, who will be played by fellow Oscar winner Adam Driver.
Here is a little backstory on the couple’s tumultuous, and ultimately tragic, relationship. Having met in a party in their early 20s, the couple was married in 1972, both aged 24, and enjoyed a lavish lifestyle as one of Italy’s first celebrity power couples. Famous for her extravagance, Lady Gucci – as Reggiani was dubbed by the press – was often photographed in OTT jewels and oversized sunglasses; an Italian Elizabeth Taylor of sorts. Their life was spent split between their many houses from New York and Acapulco to St. Moritz and their 200-foot yacht, The Creole, where they often entertained the Kennedys. Despite the luxurious lifestyle, their happiness was short-lived.
By the mid-’80s, unhappy in his marriage, Maurizio had reconnected with an old friend, Paola Franchi, and, under the pretence of leaving on a business trip, Maurizio never returned home. By 1991 the couple was divorced and a few years later, flailing under the helm of his leadership, the Gucci brand was sold to Bahraini investors. Reggiani, whose entire identity by this point was tied to the house of Gucci was unable to deal with the toxic combination of events; her jealousy over the new girlfriend, anxiety about the potential loss of her children’s inheritance, and the loss of the family business without her counsel were all mounting.
On 27 March 1995, 46-year-old Maurizio Gucci walked into the lobby of his private office and was shot dead in plain daylight by a hitman. This prompted an investigation into the Gucci family. Years of police work eventually led them to Reggiani as the main suspect. In the resulting trial which earned her the tabloid moniker, The Black Widow, she was convicted of orchestrating her ex-husband’s murder and received a 26-year sentence. After serving 18 years, she was released in 2016. For the lady who was once quoted as saying “I’d rather cry in a Rolls Royce than be happy on a bicycle,” her fall from grace has been tremendous. She currently shares a house with her elderly mother and works at a jewellers, while both her daughters have cut ties with her and she has yet to meet her grandsons.
The movie is based upon Sara Gay Forden’s book “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed.” Gucci begins filming in March this year and reportedly features an all-star cast, including Jared Leto, Jeremy Irons and Al Pacino.