Maurizi Gucci, the heir to the Gucci dynasty, was a popular name throughout the fashion industry. The name became more popular when the movie ‘House of Gucci’ hit the theatres last year. The reason behind the popularity of his name was not because he was the heir to the Gucci dynasty, but because he was murdered by his ex-wife.
The murder sent the entire fashion world into a frenzy and became a point of interest for the former fashion journalist Sara Gay Forden. She released her book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamor, and Greed in 2000. It depicts the tale of the rise, fall, and rise again of the Gucci empire from the business perspective. It also narrates the story of Maurizio and Patricia and shares details about his murder.
The book was adapted into a movie by Ridley Scott and featured some of the A-listers of the industry, including Adam Driver and Lady Gaga, playing the couple. It was nominated for a BAFTA, garnered various Golden Globe nominations, and won many awards.
So, who was Maurizio Gucci, and why was he murdered? Read below to know the entire story.
Who was Maurizio Gucci?
Maurizio Gucci was the son of Rodolfo Gucci and the grandson of Guccio Gucci. His grandfather was the founder of the luxury fashion house that maintains its legacy even today. Maurizio was born on the 26th of September, 1948. From his childhood, he displayed a great affinity towards the family business.
Initially, Maurizio worked for the brand as a package boy. During the same time, he learned about the intricacies of combining family into the business from the elders of the families. His father’s and uncle’s influence was all over him. But he would also see them quarrel over maintaining the brand’s success.
It was until the 1960s when Gucci met his better half, Patrizia Reggiani, and his life changed for the worse.
How Did Maurizio and Patrizia Meet?
Maurizio met Patricia at a party for the high flyers of Milan. They shared a mutual taste for the finer things in life. As reports have claimed, the gentleman fell in love at first sight with Patrizia. He even asked a friend who that beautiful girl dressed in red was and was told she looked a lot like Elizabeth Taylor. The duo soon bonded and fell in love with each other.
However, their new-found relationship was not welcomed by Maurizio’s family, especially his father. Rodolfo, who was also a majority shareholder in the company, believed that Patrizia was only interested in their money, and she wanted to take the Gucci name.
When Maurizio Went Against his Father and Married Patrizia
Despite the disapproval of his father, Maurizio married Patricia in 1972. The act also led to his father trying to remove him from their family firm. It was after the arrival of their first daughter, Alessandra, in 1977, the father and son reconciled, after which Rodolfo positioned Maurizio back in his good books. The couple shared two daughters – Alessandra and Allegra.
When Things Started Going Downhill
The marital problems between the couple began in 1983, following the death of Maurizio’s father. After Rodolfo’s demise, Maurizio received a majority stake in the company and attempted to take over by launching a legal war against his uncles.
His wife claimed in an interview, “Maurizio got crazy. Until then, I was his chief advisor about all Gucci matters. But he wanted to be the best, and he stopped listening to me.”
Amid the strife with the family business, the businessman suddenly severed his relationship with his wife. After the relocation of the family to Milan in 1985, Maurizio took a business trip to Florence. He sent a friend to tell his wife that he wouldn’t be returning and that their marriage was over. It was during the same time that he started living with his childhood friend, Paola Franchi. Gradually, these events invoked jealousy in his wife.
The Divorce between Maurizio and Patrizia
The couple was officially divorced in 1994, following which Patrizia received a settlement of 2.5 million euros and yearly alimony of 650,000 euros. She compared this sum to a bowl of lentils. She also lost her legal right to use the surname Gucci in the divorce. But the lady continued doing it. She revealed in an interview, “I still feel like a Gucci, in fact, the most Gucci of them all.”
Their marriage lasted for 12 years.
The Murder of Maurizio Gucci
Maurizio Gucci was shot three times on the steps of his private office on the morning of the 27th of March, 1995. The whole fashion industry came to a standstill. The tragedy was deemed an assassination and because of its high profile, the authorities had several theories behind the identity and motives of the killer.
During their investigation, his ex-wife became a clear suspect in the murder. Patrizia was often vocal about her detestation of her ex-husband. In the 2021 documentary, Lady Gucci: The Story of Patrizia Reggiani, she stated, “I was furious with Maurizio. I went around asking everyone, even the local grocer if there was someone who dared to murder my husband. I can’t aim a gun very well – I couldn’t have done it myself.”
But the police didn’t have valid evidence to arrest the perpetrator. It was until two years after Gucci’s murder, the police received an anonymous tip that sparked their investigation into the suspect. The authorities soon discovered that Patrizia colluded with her friend and psychic, Pina Auriemma, and agreed to pay her 600 million lire in exchange for having her ex-husband killed.
Auriemma then contacted an acquaintance, the hotel night porter, Ivano Saviano, for help. He brought the matter to another man who found the killer, Benedetto Ceraulo. The authorities discovered the culprits when an undercover police officer recorded a call with them in which he posed as a hitman threatening Patrizia to pay the rest of the money she owed to the group.
The arrest of all five was made on the 31st of January, 1997. They were charged with premeditated murder.
Patrizia was Sentenced to Prison
In 1998, Patrizia Reggiani was sentenced to 29 years in prison. However, her sentence was later reduced on health grounds and good conduct. She ended up serving an 18-year term and was released in 2016.
The Gucci Family Doesn’t Seem to be Pleased with the Movie
The Gucci family is not pleased with the depiction of their family in the movie, House of Gucci. In a statement, they said that the whole narrative was anything but accurate and that the filmmakers did not consult with them about the movie. They also stated they reserve the right to ‘take any action necessary to protect the name, image, and dignity of themselves and their loved ones.’
The Gucci Family is not Involved with Gucci anymore
Many people do not know this, but the Gucci family hasn’t been involved with the fashion house since 1993, after Maurizio sold his remaining stake to the Bahrain-based company Investcorp. It was later bought by the French group, PPR, now known as Kering.
Where is Patrizia Reggiani now?
Reportedly, Patrizia is employed at Bozart, a costume jewelry firm located in Milan, where she serves as a design consultant. She is in charge of reading fashion magazines and helping advise the design team staff. She lives in a townhouse located in Milan. Patrizia doesn’t share a close relationship with her two daughters.