The Wild Real-Life Story Behind the House of Gucci Movie

The upcoming House of Gucci film is adapted from Sara G. Forden’s 2001 non-fiction book, The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed. The book is a behind-the-scenes examination of the tumultuous Gucci family legacy—in particular, the marriage of Italian socialite Patrizia Reggiani and Gucci heir Maurizio Gucci—and his subsequent, scandalous murder. 

Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci married in 1973 and later had two daughters, Alessandra and Allegra. As Maurizio helmed the family business, Patrizia became Gucci’s chief advisor. Because Maurizio was the only child of Rodolfo Gucci, he inherited his father’s majority stake in Gucci. Naturally, this led to some family fighting, and Maurizio became embroiled in a public legal battle against his uncle Aldo Gucci, vying for full control of the company.

Spoiler: Maurizio won. Soon after, in 1985, he left Patrizia and his daughters for a life with his new girlfriend, Paola Franchi. In 1993, Maurizio, after a period of some seriously reckless spending, was forced to sell his shares in the company to Investcorp, for $120 million.

Everything was pretty quiet for a couple of years; until March 27, 1995. On this day, Maurizio was entering his office building on Via Palestro 20 in Milan when he was shot three times in the back and once in the head by a mystery gunman. Giuseppe Onorato, the building’s doorman was also shot, although he survived. Maurizio, however, collapsed and died on his office steps.