TV & Movies

Patrizia Reggiani & Maurizio Gucci’s Relationship Was Complicated, To Say The Least

House of Gucci recounts all of the couple’s ups and downs.

Lady Gaga and Adam Driver star as Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci in ' House of Gucci.'
Fabio Lovino/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures Inc.

What with its star turns from Lady Gaga and Adam Driver and stranger-than-fiction story, House of Gucci is already one of the most talked-about movies of the year. The movie is truly a wild ride: Circling its outrageous cast of characters, the film careens between over-the-top camp and moody drama, scarcely giving the audience a chance to catch its breath. But the real relationship between House of Gucci’s central couple — Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci — is even wilder.

While Reggiani and Gucci were madly in love when they married in their 20s, the flame extinguished by their late 30s. Their disagreements were in part about money and power — or the lack of it, according to Reggiani. “I was angry with Maurizio about many, many things [in the early ’90s],” Reggiani told The Guardian in 2016. “But above all ... Losing the family business. It was stupid. It was a failure. I was filled with rage.”

Reggiani’s use of the word “rage” is, well, an understatement — after the couple’s divorce was finalized in the mid-’90s, Reggiani hired a hitman to kill her ex-husband. She was arrested for the crime two years after the fact, and would spend 16 years in prison following her conviction.

So, how did Reggiani and Gucci go from happy couple to true-crime fascination? Below, a timeline of Reggiani and Gucci’s tumultuous relationship.

Reggiani and Gucci met at a party in 1970.

Reggiani and Gucci were in their early 20s when they were introduced at a debutante party in November 1970. The fashion house heir would later say it was “love at first sight,” but his family wasn’t as smitten with his new girlfriend. According to Sara Gay Forden’s 2000 book House of Gucci — on which Scott’s film is based — Rodolfo Gucci, Maurizio’s father, described Reggiani as a “social climber who has nothing in mind but money.” He also decried her as “vulgar and ambitious” and told his son, “She is not the girl for you.”

They married in 1972, two years after they met.

Despite his family’s misgivings, Reggiani and Gucci officially tied the knot in 1972 in Italy. The newly married couple moved to New York City and eventually had two daughters: Alessandra, born in 1976, and Allegra, born in 1981. According to The Guardian, Rodolfo warmed to Reggiani once his grandchildren were born. By 1982, Reggiani and Gucci moved back to Milan with their children.

Gucci left Reggiani in 1985.

Reggiani alleges that their relationship went downhill after Rodolfo’s death in 1983, when Maurizio became a 50% shareholder in the family company. By this point, Reggiani was also working at Gucci as Maurizio’s chief advisor, and her “constant meddling” put a strain on their marriage. In 1985, Gucci packed his bags, saying he was going on a business trip to Florence. The following day, the family doctor told Reggiani that Gucci had left for good.

They officially divorced in 1994.

By the time Gucci left Reggiani, he was already having an affair with Sheree McLaughin, an American woman. According to Bloomberg, McLaughin met Gucci in 1984 when they were both in Porto Cervo, Sardinia. They broke up in 1989. The following year, Gucci began dating Paola Franchi, who he’d known since childhood. At the time of his death, Gucci was living with Franchi.

Reggiani and Gucci finalized their divorce in 1994. As part of the settlement, Reggiani was awarded an annual alimony in excess of $1.5 million a year.

In 1995, Reggiani hired a hitman to kill Gucci.

Gucci planned to marry Franchi, and Reggiani was reportedly enraged by his impending nuptials — not only because she was jealous, but also because the new marriage would also substantively reduce her alimony. Reggiani’s friend Pina Auriemma contacted Ivano Savioni, a hotel porter, to help her arrange the hit. Savoni brought on Benedetto Ceraulo — a pizzeria owner plagued with debt — to act as the gunman, and Orazio Cicala to serve as the getaway driver. Ceraulo and Cicala completed their end of the bargain on March 27, 1995. According to The Guardian, Reggiani gave Auriemma 600 million lire (nearly $700,000 accounting for inflation) around that time, which Auriemma used to pay the men.

In 1997, Regianni was arrested and tried for orchestrating the murder of her ex-husband. She was sentenced to 29 years in prison, but ultimately only served 16 years. She was released in 2014 for good behavior.