She was dubbed the “Black Widow” – the luxury-loving wife who arranged for her fashion heir husband to be bumped off after he left her for another woman.
Now Lady Gaga is playing Patrizia Reggiani in new film House Of Gucci, which had its London premiere this week.
Gaga spent 18 months in character bringing Patrizia to life and the movie is packed with glitz and Seventies glamour.
The Gucci dynasty began in 1921 when Guccio Gucci opened a leather goods shop in Florence, inspired by his time working at the Savoy hotel.
It was his sons Aldo and Rodolfo who turned it into a global brand loved by the rich and famous but behind that famous intertwined G logo, the family was at war.
In 1972, Roldolfo’s son Maurizio, played by Star Wars actor Adam Driver, married against his father’s wishes.
His bride Patrizia was an Italian socialite and Elizabeth Taylor lookalike but Roldolfo – portrayed by Jeremy Irons – dismissed her as “a social climber who has nothing in mind but money”.
When the pair started dating, she was so unimpressed with Maurizio’s car, she demanded he buy her a Ferrari.
And she once confessed in an interview: “I’d rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle.”
The couple shared a jet-set lifestyle and had two daughters, Allegra and Alessandra, before Maurizio’s poor business dealings lost the Gucci empire millions in the 1980s.
At the same time, their marriage was falling apart. In 1985, Maurizio told Patrizia he was going on a short business trip to Florence.
The following day, he sent a friend to tell his wife he would not be returning and the marriage was over.
He started dating former model Paola Franchi and asked Patrizia for a divorce in 1991.
She was furious, telling anyone who would listen that she wanted Maurizio dead, even asking her then lawyer: “What would happen if I got rid of him?”
Maurizio was then murdered in a crime which shocked Italy. At 8.30am on March 27, 1995, as he entered his office in Milan, he was shot three times in the back by a waiting gunman.
As he collapsed on the floor, a final killer bullet was pumped into the 46-year-old’s head.
As it later emerged, the hitman had been hired by Maurizio’s ex – it was said she feared he would marry new lover Paola, and threaten her and her daughters’ status.
Without evidence, the crime went unsolved for nearly two years. A tip-off led to Patrizia’s arrest in 1997, along with four others, including the hitman.
Her Cartier diary was found to be marked with the date of Maurizio’s murder and the word “Paradise”.
After Patrizia was arrested, wearing a fur coat and dripping in jewels, she was dubbed “La Vedova Nera,” the Black Widow.
She was found guilty of ordering Maurizio’s murder and paying 600million lire, around £265,000.
Sentenced to 29 years in jail, Patrizia passed her time reading, sleeping and exercising a pet ferret called Bambi. Her lawyer had negotiated the privilege but the creature died when an inmate sat on it.
With credit for good behaviour, she served 18 years and was released in 2016. Afterwards she was asked why she hadn’t killed her ex-husband herself.
“My eyesight is not so good,” she replied. “I didn’t want to miss.”
Patrizia is now 72, estranged from her daughters and living in Milan with a pet parrot.
She has criticised Lady Gaga for not meeting her but it seems the star will carry Patrizia with her.
“I don’t know that I’d ever let her go,” says Gaga. “I feel her inside of me all the time.”
● House Of Gucci is released on November 26.
Source: Read Full Article