Patrizia Reggiani is the ex-wife of the late Maurizio Gucci, an Italian businessman and the one-time head of the Gucci fashion house. Patrizia famously ordered the killing of her ex-husband and served 18 years behind bars for it. She has since been released.
After she orchestrated his murder in 1995, she was taken into police custody in 1997. Following her arraignment and subsequent trial, the mother of two received a 29-year prison sentence which was later reduced to 26 through appeal. Eventually, her good behavior behind bars earned her an early release in 2016 and since then, she has been living in her old home in Milan and working at the jewelry designing company known as Bozart.
How Old Is Patrizia Reggiani?
Patrizia Reggiani is 75 years old; she was born on the 2nd of December 1948 in Northern Italy, precisely in the little town of Vignola in the Modena province. She is Italian by nationality and is of Latina ethnic background. She was given the name Patrizia Martinelli at birth.
Patrizia came from a poor family background. Though nothing has been said about her biological father, the Vignola native is the daughter of Silvana – a peasant woman who worked as a waitress to make ends meet. Patrizia never knew the identity of her biological father.
When she clocked 12, her mother found love in the arms of a much older man who goes by the name of Ferdinando Reggiani; Ferdinando earned his keep through the trucking business. Following their marriage, Ferdinando adopted Patrizia and that was when her last name changed from Martinelli to Reggiani. It is not known whether the socialite had siblings or grew up as an only child.
Talking about her academic journey, Patrizia Reggiani never mentioned the academic institutions she attended or the level she reached in school. It is worth noting that Patrizia developed a brain tumor at a point in her adult life and had to undergo brain surgery. As a result of complications from her medical condition, the Italian socialite battles with epilepsy from time to time.
What Does Patrizia Do for a Living?
There is a dearth of information on Patrizia’s life before she married into the famous Gucci family. Thus, nothing has been said about the kind of job she did to put food on the table. However, after she became the wife of the heir of the luxury Italian fashion house, Maurizio Gucci, she wasted no time in letting the whole world know about her changed social status as she started parading herself as a Gucci.
In fact, after she got divorced from Maurizio, Patrizia Reggiani never believed she was no longer a Gucci as she held fast to the family name. Talking to La Repubblica in an interview session, the mother of two said she would always consider herself a member of the Gucci family before any other thing. In fact, Patrizia’s exact words were, “I still feel like a Gucci, in fact, the most Gucci of them all.”
With the backing of an affluent family like Gucci, the Italian lady never worked in her life until she was released from prison. Part of the conditions for her release was that she would have to get a job to keep herself occupied and that was how she landed at the famed Milan-based jewelry boutique known as Bozart where she functions as a design consultant.
Patrizia started working at the costume jewelry company in April 2014 and a couple of years later in 2016, she told the Guardian that she keeps busy at work by reading fashion magazines and advising the design team at Bozart.
Talking about Patrizia Reggiani, Bozart’s co-owner, Maurizio Manca told the Guardian that she is responsible for test-driving the company’s creations by always keeping on top of trends. During her early days at Bozart, Patrizia assisted in the design of a unique collection of rainbow-colored fashion items, including jewelry and evening bags which she claimed were inspired by the pet macaw she keeps as a pet called Bo.
Patrizia Reggiani got Married to Maurizio Gucci in 1972
Patrizia Reggiani met Maurizio Gucci in 1970. Maurizio was the grandson of Guccio Gucci, the original founder of the Gucci fashion house. Maurizio’s dad was Rodolfo Gucci.
It happened that Rodolfo disapproved of Maurizio and Patrizia when she was first introduced to him. According to Rodolfo, Patrizia cut the image of a social climber with only fame and fortune on her mind. Needless to say, he wasn’t far from the truth.
However, Rodolfo’s opinion of Maurizio’s love interest didn’t change his son’s mind about their relationship and they eventually tied the knot in 1972.
Despite his misgivings about Reggiani, Rodolfo gave the newly wedded couple a penthouse located in the Olympic Tower in New York City as his wedding gift and that was where they started life as a married couple.
Eventually, Patrizia Reggiani spent her time in New York as a socialite, appearing in all the big fashion events and parties in the city and making friends with Jackie Kennedy Onassis – the wife of the then-president of America, F. Kennedy.
After over one decade of married life, Patrizia and Maurizio decided to relocate back home to Milan in 1982.
Maurizio Dumped Patrizia in 1985
Three years after they went back to Milan, Patrizia was dumped by her husband, Maurizio. According to the tale that was told at that time, the Gucci heir pretended to go to Florence on a business trip in 1985 and the next day, he sent his friend to Patrizia, telling her that it was the end of the road for them as he won’t ever come back.
While the couple’s divorce proceedings were still going on in 1990, Maurizio and his childhood friend, Paola Franchi, started dating. Their divorce was eventually finalized in 1994 when it was agreed that Patrizia would be getting $1.47 million in annual alimony and she was banned from using the Gucci name in return.
Patrizia Reggiani’s Children
Patrizia Reggiani and her ex-husband, Maurizio Gucci are parents to two children – all girls.
Their first daughter Alessandra was welcomed four years after their wedding in 1976. The couple’s second daughter is named Allegra and she joined the family in 1981.
Alessandra is the one who follows the family tradition and is working in the fashion industry but her sister, Allegra, is a lawyer. She studied law at Milan University.
Reggiani and her two daughters were initially very close. In fact, they went to live with their mum after their parents’ divorce. They were 18 and 14 when their dad was killed and when their mum was eventually arrested in connection with the murder, the Gucci girls came all out in her defense.
In fact, at a point, they put the blame for what happened on their mum’s brain tumor which according to them muddled her thinking to commit a crime of that magnitude. After Patrizia Reggiani was tried and convicted, the girls campaigned for a retrial saying she lost command of her mental faculties and must be pardoned.
However, Patrizia’s relationship with her daughters got strained and they didn’t even want to set eyes on her after she was let out of prison. In fact, the duo tried to cut their mum off from receiving the annuity promised by Maurizio but that didn’t work out.
Talking about her daughters, Patrizia narrated how they cut her off from their lives and didn’t even allow her to see their children.
Both Alessandra and Allegra are living in Switzerland and are the ones who inherited their family estates and boats.
Patricia Ordered the Death Of her Ex-husband, Maurizio
Many people would consider a $1.47 million annual alimony to be more than enough fortune to douse the anger of a scorned woman but Patrizia Reggiani is not most people.
Thus, she got really angry after Maurizio’s emissary came to tell her that their union was over and from that period, the mother of two started plotting for ways to take out her husband.
According to what she told People Magazine Investigates Crimes of Fashion, Patrizia she would have loved to do the job by herself but she had very bad eyesight and would have missed the target. Thus, she started asking around for someone who would kill Maurizio in exchange for a large sum of money.
After asking a local butcher, she went on to make inquiries from other people on how best to hire a hit man. At the end of the day, it was her close friend and psychic, Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma, who connected her with Benedetto Ceraulo. Benedetto happens to be a pizzeria owner whose shop had mounted a large debt and he needed a lot of money to bounce back.
Benedetto was super efficient with the job, he targeted Maurizio until he caught him at Via Palestro 20 in Milan while the businessman was ascending the staircase to his private office. This happened on the 27th of March 1995 at precisely 8:30 a.m. The shot was fatal and the Gucci heir died on the spot.
How did Patrizia Reggiani get Caught?
Patrizia Reggiani nearly got away with murdering her husband but she was apprehended two years later after the police conducted a detailed investigation into the case.
An undercover police officer in question camouflaged as a hit man and placed a call to Patrizia demanding that she finish paying the balance of the money from Maurizio’s murder.
There were also witnesses who claimed that Patrizia was asking around for a hitman around the time of her husband’s murder.
Another damning piece of evidence was the former model’s Cartier diary where she wrote, “Paradeisos,” which is Greek for “paradise” on the day of her husband’s murder.
Thus, in January 1997, the mother of two was taken into police custody for the murder of her ex-husband. It was soon revealed that Patrizia’s major motive for taking out her husband was to gain absolute control of the Gucci Empire and also to stop his impending marriage to Paola Franchi – the woman he was dating at that time.
If her ex-husband had succeeded in marrying another woman, Patrizia’s generous alimony would have been cut in half and she would have been left with $860,000 per year.
Patrizia’s Arraignment, Trial, and Prison Sentence
Over one year after Patrizia Reggiani was arrested, she was arraigned in court in May 1998. Her trial dragged on for the ensuing five months. As the trial raged on, Patrizia’s lawyers put up a strong defense for the Italian socialite, claiming that she never ordered the assassination of her ex-husband. Rather, they said it was Pina who blackmailed and framed her. They labeled Pina an opportunist who saw Reggiani in the light of a golden cow that she could milk for money.
As the court was still contemplating the defense, Reggiani herself contradicted the whole thing by her utterance when she told them that the killing of her ex was “worth every lira.”
At the end of the trial, Patrizia was found guilty and received 29 years while her hit man, Benedetto received a life sentence.
Is Patrizia Reggiani Still in Prison?
No. The “Black Widow,” as she was dubbed, has long left Prison. She was released in 2016.
When she had the opportunity to complete the remaining part of her prison sentence in one of Italy’s open prisons, Patrizia Reggiani declined the offer, claiming that she had never worked all her life and wouldn’t want to start now.
She already completed 18 years behind bars when her good behavior earned her an early release in October 2016. One year later in 2017, she received almost £1 million from Maurizio estate with which she started living her affluent life once more.
Where is Patrizia Reggiani Now?
The Italian fashion personality went back to her home in Milan after her release from prison. A resident of an upscale neighborhood, she is usually spotted in the streets with her pet macaw hanging on one shoulder.
The first thing she did after her release was hit Via Monte Napoleone for a shopping spree, sporting jewelry, and sunglasses with her pet macaw taking its usual position on her shoulders. She didn’t even mind the fact that she was attracting the full attention of all the paparazzi that Milan had to offer.
Though she declined to work during her time in prison, the mother of two is now a consultant for the Milan-based jewelry firm Bozart.
Is Patrizia Reggiani Still Alive?
Yes, Patrizia Reggiani is still alive and has already clocked 75 in sound health. It would appear that the years she spent at the San Vittore Prison didn’t have any negative effect on her as the socialite resumed her normal vivacious lifestyle without wasting a minute.