Who was the real Patrizia Reggiani? - Lady Gaga's House of Gucci character
"I still feel like a Gucci – in fact, the most Gucci of them all."
Ridley Scott's House of Gucci is out now, and with a cast like that, it's sure to be a hit.
Starring Lady Gaga, Adam Driver, Salma Hayek, Jared Leto, Al Pacino and more, the retelling of Maurizio Gucci's scandalous murder is reaching an entirely new audience for the first time in years.
Gucci was killed in 1995 on the steps outside his office in Milan. Two years later, his ex wife Reggiani (portrayed by Gaga in the film) was arrested and convicted for her involvement in a highly publicised trial.
But who was the real Patrizia Reggiani, and what happened to her?
Who was Patrizia Reggiani?
Patrizia Reggiani is known widely as the Black Widow due to her involvement in the murder of her husband, Maurizio Gucci. She was convicted on charges of murder arrangement in 1998 and was sentenced to 28 years in prison. She was released in 2016 for good behaviour.
Reggiani grew up in poverty in Northern Italy in the 1950s. She never knew her father and was later adopted by entrepreneur Ferdinando Reggiani, who married her mother Silvana when she was 12-years-old.
In 1970, she met future husband Gucci at a party. The pair wed two years later and moved to New York where Reggiani became one of the city's most well known socialites.
Two children and a decade of marriage later, Gucci told his wife that their relationship was over while on a business trip to Florence. Reggiani was granted an annual alimony of $1.47 million and although it was illegal to do so, continued to use the Gucci surname, stating: "I still feel like a Gucci – in fact, the most Gucci of them all."
Why was the hit on Gucci ordered?
According to prosecutors, a combination of jealousy, resentment, and a desire to control the Gucci estate led to Reggiani ordering a hit to have her ex killed.
At the time, Reggiani denied much of her involvement in the murder, stating that she was "not innocent, but I'm not guilty." She also said that she still doesn't understand why she was arrested for the crime.
"I heard my telephone ring, and my nanny told me that Maurizio was shot," Reggiani recalled in documentary, Killing Gucci. "First I couldn't believe it and then I thought, my problems are gone and then just [felt] sorrow.
"In court, I [admitted we] hated each other. I made a lot of threats, but I didn't give the order to kill him. The others blackmailed me. What they said about me was not true."
Later, Reggiani said that she was involved in the plot because her husband "irritated" her. "There was no hatred," she said. "I didn’t hate Maurizio, I never hated him. It was my irritation - he irritated me."
Has Reggiani commented on Gaga's portrayal of her?
As a matter of fact, she has - and she's not overly content with it.
While Gaga has spoken in-depth about the preparation she underwent for the role (even stating that she channeled the years of trauma she endured for the part), Reggiani has said that she was "annoyed" the singer didn't reach out to her ahead of filming.
She told Italian national news agency, Ansa: "I'm annoyed by the fact that Lady Gaga is portraying me in the new Ridley Scott film without even having the courtesy or the good sense to come and meet me."
She went on: "It's nothing to do with money because I won't be taking a single cent from the film. It's about common sense and respect.
"I believe that any good actor should first get to know the person that they are meant to be playing. I think it is not right that I wasn't contacted. And I say this with all the sympathy and appreciation that I have for her."
House of Gucci is out in Irish cinemas now.