Patrizia Reggiani sits quietly on the sofa, adorned with bracelets and rings, says Andrea Galli in Corriere della Sera. She offers me a chinnoto and a mimosa cake of “rare beauty”, and talks quietly, between long pauses, about Maurizio Gucci, the husband whose murder she organised in 1995. It’s the subject of Ridley Scott’s new movie, due for release at the end of the year, with Lady Gaga playing the woman the Italian press nicknamed the “black widow”.
For nearly 20 years in jail, Reggiani maintained her innocence. Then, shortly after her release, reporters caught her off guard. “Patrizia, why did you hire a hit man to kill Maurizio Gucci? Why didn’t you shoot him yourself?” asked one. “My eyesight is not so good,” she replied. “I didn’t want to miss.”
Now, speaking softly, hands crossed on her lap, she is even franker. “I killed him because he irritated me,” she tells Galli. “I went to the butcher’s shop and asked if he knew someone who killed people.” In the end, her clairvoyant found the killer: a pizzeria owner, who was paid the lire equivalent of $300,000 to gun Maurizio down in the red-carpeted foyer of his office.
The couple married in 1972, and together they enjoyed the high life in Milan, where Reggiani was nicknamed Lady Gucci. “I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle,” she confessed. They had two daughters, Allegra and Alessandra, before their marriage began to unravel. She never forgave Maurizio for selling his 50% stake in the family fashion house. And he left her for another woman.
Arrested in 1997 and sentenced to jail the following year, Reggiani was offered early release in return for menial work. She turned it down. “I’ve never worked in my life,” she said, “and I’m certainly not going to start now.” She was finally released in 2016. “She wore jewels and sunglasses,” says The Times, “perched her pet macaw on her shoulder and, to the amazement of following paparazzi, set off on a shopping trip along Milan’s chic Via Monte Napoleone.”