Patrizia Reggiani

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Patrizia Reggiani
Patrizia Martinelli

(1948-12-02) 2 December 1948 (age 72)
Other namesPatrizia Gucci
Known forMurder of Maurizio Gucci
Criminal charge(s)Arranging assassination
Criminal penalty26 years (served 18 years)
Maurizio Gucci
(m. 1973; div. 1991)

Patrizia Reggiani Martinelli (born 2 December 1948) is the ex-wife of Maurizio Gucci. During the 1980s, while she was married to Gucci, she was a wealthy Italian socialite and high fashion personality. In late 1998, Martinelli went through a scandalous trial followed closely by the Italian public for ordering her husband's murder.

Early life and relationship with Maurizio Gucci[edit]

Patrizia Martinelli was born in Vignola, Emilia-Romagna, Northern Italy. In 1973 she married Maurizio Gucci, with whom she had two daughters, Allegra and Alessandra.[1] On 2 May 1985, after 12 years of marriage, Maurizio left Patrizia for a younger woman, telling her he was going on a short business trip. He never returned home. In 1991, the couple officially divorced. As part of the settlement, Patrizia Reggiani collected the equivalent of $500,000 annual alimony. In 1992, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor, which was removed without any negative consequences. On 27 March 1995, her ex-husband was shot and killed by a hitman hired by Patrizia on the steps outside his office as he arrived to work.[2][3]

Trial and incarceration[edit]

On 31 January 1997, Patrizia Reggiani was arrested, and in 1998, she was convicted of arranging the killing of her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci, and sentenced to 29 years in prison.[4] The trial garnered intense media interest and is where Reggiani became known as the "Black Widow".[5][6] Her daughters asked that her conviction be overturned, claiming her brain tumor had affected her personality.[7] In 2000, an appeals court in Milan upheld the conviction but reduced the sentence to 26 years. That same year, Reggiani tried to commit suicide by hanging herself with a shoelace, but was rescued.[how?]

In October 2011, she was offered the possibility of open prison, but refused saying "I've never worked in my life and I'm certainly not going to start now".[8] With credit for good behavior, she was released in October 2016 after serving 18 years.[9] In 2017, further to a 1993 agreement, she was awarded an annuity of £900,000 from Gucci's estate.[9] The court also ordered back pay for her time in prison, amounting to over £16 million.[9] The order was made against her ex-husband's estate; its administrators, her two daughters, unsuccessfully appealed the order.[9]

In popular culture[edit]

The film House of Gucci (2021), based on Reggiani's marriage and murder of her ex-husband, with Lady Gaga portraying her, from director Ridley Scott, was announced in November 2019.[10] In March 2021, Reggiani expressed annoyance that Gaga did not meet with her before accepting the role.[11]


  1. ^ "Omicidio Gucci – Patrizia Reggiani, rinuncia alla semilibertà: "Non ho mai lavorato in vita mia"". (in Italian). 19 October 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  2. ^ Family Business on the Couch: A Psychological Perspective. John Wiley and Sons. 2007. p. 102. ISBN 978-0-470-51671-3.
  3. ^ Sara Gay Forden, The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, HarperCollins ISBN 0-688-16313-0, 2001.
  4. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (4 November 1998). "Former Wife Given 29 Years for Ordering Gucci Slaying". The New York Times..
  5. ^ "Investing Money » The Maurizio Gucci Story".
  6. ^ The Black Widow goes on trial The New York Times. 20 May 1998.
  7. ^ "Gucci 'black widow' wins retrial over hitman murder of husband".[dead link]
  8. ^ "Did You Ever Plan To Kill Your Husband (And Eventually Did It)? Then The Fashion Industry Wants You!". 17 September 2013. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  9. ^ a b c d Squires, Nick (10 February 2017). "Italy's 'Black Widow' Gucci heiress who ordered ex-husband's murder entitled to nearly £1 million a year from his estate". The Telegraph – via
  10. ^ Fleming Jr., Mike (1 November 2019). "Lady Gaga, Ridley & Giannina Scott Team on Film About Assassination of Gucci Grandson Maurizio; Gaga to Play Convicted Ex-Wife Patrizia Reggiani". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 8 April 2021.
  11. ^ Hautman, Nicholas (12 March 2021). "Maurizio Gucci's ex-wife Patrizia Reggiani is 'annoyed' Lady Gaga is playing her in 'House of Gucci' Movie". US Magazine. Retrieved 8 April 2021.