In today’s episode of fact vs. fiction, we are going to talk about House of Gucci. Exciting, isn’t it?
Ridley Scott’s House of Gucci tells the story of the real-life scandal which became a rage in Italian society back in 1995 following the assassination of Maurizio Gucci. The movie is based on the biographical book titled “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed” by Sara Gay Forden.
The film centers around the Gucci family business, which began in the 1970s leading to Maurizio Gucci’s murder orchestrated by Patrizia Regianni in 1995. The film has focused considerably on the love story of Maurizio and Patrizia Gucci and how their relationship heavily affected the course of events.
For the most part, House of Gucci is true to actual events. But some incidents took place a little differently than what was shown in the film. The story, at its core, is true to reality, but some events and details have been changed.
I am sure you have questions about which bits are actually real and which were not true to real events. So I have put down everything that happened differently in real life than what the film portrays. Trust me on this, the real-life events are as scandalous as the ones of the movie.
You will not be disappointed if you read on!
1. Who forged Rodolfo’s signature in real life?
In the movie, after Rodolfo’s death, lawyer Domenico de Sole speaks to Maurizio and Patricia about the details of the inheritance. If Maurizio would inherit Rodolfo’s shares, he would, by default, become the majority shareholder of the company.
But twist in the tale. Rodolfo never signed the paperwork. So Maurizio would have had to pay a considerable sum as inheritance tax to get hold of the shares. In the movie, it is implied that Patricia comes to the rescue by forging Rodolfo’s signature on the paperwork.
In reality, it was not Patricia but Maurizio himself who had forged Rodolpho’s signature on the required documents. He was even found guilty of the forgery. He fled to Saint Moritz to escape imprisonment like in the movie. Later though, Maurizio was cleared of these charges with Paulo’s help.
However, a statement from a longtime assistant of Rodolfo Gucci implied that it was indeed Patrizia who forged the signature. So both the options are probable. We do not know if the film was proper in suggesting the same.
2. The Gucci family members the film misses out
According to the Gucci family tree, as portrayed in House of Gucci, Guccio Gucci (the founder of the family business) has two sons – Aldo and Rodolfo Gucci. In reality, Guccio had three sons. Vasco, the third Gucci brother, was not shown in the film.
Vasco Gucci died childless in 1974. After his death, Aldo and Rodolfo bought Vasco’s shares and split them among themselves. Vasco’s case was probably ignored to make the story a little less complicated and keep the focus on Rodolpho and then Maurizio strictly.
Also, the makers may not have received consent from all the Gucci family members to portray them onscreen. More so, in the movie, Aldo has only one son, Paulo. But in reality, he has two more sons, Roberto and Georgio.
In the movie, Alessandra Gucci plays a vital part. Maurizio and Patricia’s daughter Alessandra was responsible to a great deal for the reconciliation of Rodolpho and Maurizio. In real life, too, she should be credited for helping with Rodolpho and Maurizio’s reconciliation.
But Alessandra was not the only daughter born to Maurizio and Patricia. They had another daughter, Allegra Gucci, born in 1981, who was never mentioned or portrayed in the movie.
3. Maurizio was shot in the steps of his office building in Milan
In one of the scenes of House of Gucci, Maurizio is murdered in Rome while riding a bike. He was distracted when his name was called and then shot while he was riding his bike. In reality, this was not the case.
First of all, Maurizio was shot in Milan, not Rome. Also, he was shot in the steps of his office building and not while he was riding a bike.
On the day of the assassination, there was only one entry in Patricia’s diary, which meant “paradise.” The entry was in Greek, not Italian, as shown in the movie.
4. Did Patrizia have a job? How was Patrizia in reality?
In House of Gucci, Patrizia Regianni is introduced as she walks to her father, Ferdinando Regianni’s transport company, where she is presumably working. She worked there as an accountant as per the movie.
But in reality, Patrizia never worked in her father’s company. Guess what? Neither did Maurizio! The movie also showed Maurizio working for Ferdinando Regianni because his father Rodolfo was against his marriage to Patrizia. In real life, neither Patrizia nor Maurizio worked for Patrizia’s dad.
“I’ve never worked in my life; I won’t start now.” These are the words Patrizia Regianni told the judge in 2011 when she was granted a pardon from prison for a work-release program.
The movie version of Patrizia is the modern Lady Macbeth. The lady is straight out of Shakespeare into the world of fashion. She never had any real job, but she was always the boss, considering how she convinced and manipulated Maurizio into doing as she wanted.
The real story is a little different. In the film, it is Patrizia (with Aldo Gucci’s assistance) who convinces and manipulates her husband, Maurizio, into working for his family business. While Maurizio is reluctant in the first half of the film, Patrizia constantly pushes him.
She intends to climb up the social ladder and enjoy the privileges of such a lavish lifestyle, and she can do anything for it.
In real life, though, Maurizio was not reluctant. At least no sign suggests so. In 1972, the real Maurizio started working for Gucci by himself. Patrizia did not necessarily manipulate him into it.
5. Who is Pina Auriemma in real life?
In House of Gucci, Pina Auriemma is a television psychic Patrizia contacts while concerned about Maurizio moving away from her. But in reality, Pina and Patrizia were longtime friends.
Maurizio and Patrizia met Pina while vacationing in Ischia in 1976. The two women were friends for a long time before planning the hit on Maurizio. In reality, Pina is called Giuseppina. Pina did help Patrizia carry out Maurizio’s murder, as shown in the movie.
In the film, Pina becomes Patrizia’s spiritual advisor and close friend. In reality, too, they were close and planned the hit on Maurizio when he decided to divorce Patrizia. But during the trial, the two women blamed each other for the murder.
While Pina testified that Patrizia was the mastermind and she only did as Patrizia told her, Patrizia said that it was Pina who blackmailed to frame her for the murder, and that is the reason she paid Pina.
It is all a mess. So while it is true that Pina was Patrizia’s close confidante, the film did keep aside a lot of details from reality. That is understandable, though, because the film is already almost 3 hours long.
Also, Pina was not the only one whom Patrizia trusted with her intentions to murder Maurizio. She discussed the prospects with several people, including a lawyer and her cleaner, whom she asked for contacts of people who can carry out a hit.
The film, once again, was unable to cover everything owing to time constraints.
6. Was Paulo’s fashion show disrupted?
House of Gucci depicts Maurizio and Patrizia plotting with Aldo Gucci’s son Paulo to take down his father. In return, the couple promises Paulo his own line.
But when Paulo finally got the chance to conduct his own fashion show, it was disrupted by the police. They cited copyright infringement, and Paulo was charged with using the Gucci name without having the legal right to do so.
In reality, something similar happened, but it was not during a fashion show but a handbag launch. Maurizio gave Paulo Gucci a chance to design his own line of Gucci handbags, but he reneged on the copyright a day before the launch.
The police stopped the launch of the handbags, and they quoted similar issues regarding copyright. The legal disputes following the betrayal continued years after this incident.
7. Is Paulo really helpless in real life?
The movie version of Paulo Gucci is almost clownish and pretty shallow. He is desperate to prove himself a designer despite having negligible talent in the field. He quickly falls into Maurizio and Patrizia’s trap when they offer him a deal.
In reality, Paulo indeed wanted to design a youth-centric line for Gucci, which Rodolfo refused to allow him. But he released his own line for the first time in 1980, and it was pretty successful. So he may not be as useless as the film portrays him to be.
The fiasco involving copyright infringement is true. But more than Paulo’s foolishness, it was Maurizio’s betrayal that should be blamed for it. I mean, trusting your cousin is not exactly strange, is it?
Paulo may have been mediocre in terms of talent or family politics, but he is not as cartoonish a figure as the movie makes him look like for sure.
8. Did Maurizio help Tom Ford?
In De Sole’s suggestion, Maurizio brings in Tom Ford, a more or less unknown Texan designer, to help bring back Gucci’s good old days of fortune in the movie. Maurizio is even shown clapping and cheering for Ford as he releases his first collection.
But this is not entirely true, according to Tom Ford himself. Recently, Ford wrote for Air Mail that Maurizio Gucci was bought out of the company already when he became Gucci’s creative director and had his first successful line.
9. When did Dominico De Sole join Gucci?
In House of Gucci, lawyer Domenico de Sole had been working at Gucci long before Maurizio Gucci decided to join the business. He is shown working closely with Rodolfo Gucci and attending all Gucci family functions.
In reality, the Gucci family had been De Sole’s clients for years and only joined the Gucci company in 1984 upon Rodolfo’s insisting and request. This was 12 years after Maurizio Gucci joined Gucci. So the time frame in the film is not in sync with the one in real life.
10. About House of Gucci
House of Gucci is an upcoming epic biographical crime drama film directed by Ridley Scott with a screen play by Becky Johnston and Roberto Bentivegna. It is based on the 2001 book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden.
The movie stars Lady Gaga as Patrizia Reggiani, Adam Driver as Maurizio Gucci, Jared Leto as Paulo Gucci, Jeremy Irons as Rodolfo Gucci, Salma Hayek as Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma, and Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci.
It follows the marriage of Patrizia Reggiani and Maurizio Gucci and the dynamics of the Gucci family and empire, leading up to the murder of Maurizio in 1995.