‘House of Gucci’: Patrizia Reggiani Evaded a Murder Wrap for 2 Years Until She Betrayed Her Friend

Patrizia Reggiani’s name rings bells with the arrival of House of Gucci. Lady Gaga plays the wife-turned-murder-mastermind in the film, and viewers will see how the tragic tale unfolded. The movie centers on Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) and his family’s famous luxury brand as well as his marriage and divorce from Reggiani.

Nicknamed the “Black Widow,” she served 18 years on her original 29-year prison sentence for having Gucci killed, but it took a while to get there. It turns out that her best friend, Pina Auriemma, ultimately played a role in her conviction.

Patrizia Reggiani is seen with a companion in New York City
Patrizia Reggiani | Nancy Rivera/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images/Getty Images

Patrizia Reggiani betrayed her friend after Maurizio Gucci murder

When fans see Lady Gaga’s portrayal of Reggiani in House of Gucci, they should note that the singer did not speak with her directly. Rather, she sifted through interviews, articles, and other media to learn more about Reggiani and the criminal case against her. What some may not know is how Reggiani tapped her friend to coordinate her husband’s assassination.

Angered over his handling of the Gucci brand, marital assets, their divorce, and perhaps, his budding romantic relationships, she turned to friend Pina Auriemma for help. She wanted to hire someone to kill Gucci. Auriemma reached out to a friend’s husband — Savioni, who sought out someone named Cicala to do it, and Cicala hired a shooter named Ceraulo.

According to The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed by Sara Gay Forden, Reggiani funneled money to Auriemma, and she sent a cut to Savioni and the others split it. She promised them riches beyond their wildest dreams once the job was complete. All of these details came out during Reggiani’s trial. After Gucci’s death, things changed between Auriemma and Reggiani.

Pina Auriemma grew bitter toward Reggiani

Initially, the police looked into Gucci’s business associates as suspects in his 1995 murder. Because he had financial issues through the years, it seemed like a viable lead.

But Savioni revealed the deed to one of his acquaintances, and that man reported it to a detective in 1997. As the police planned an investigation into Reggiani and Auriemma, the latter grew impatient with her friend over payments.

Reggiani sent Auriemma roughly $1,600 per month, but she was in debt and stressed. Meanwhile, Reggiani lived lavishly off Gucci’s estate as she kept leading her co-conspirators on about paying them. Forden wrote at one point, they planned to take her out too.

Wire taps and confessions eventually led to all the perpetrators’ arrests, and by that time, Auriemma had enough of her old friend. As they awaited trial, Reggiani tried to bribe Auriemma into taking full blame. Forden wrote that Pina reacted angrily. “I’m an old woman and I’m going to be here a long time! What good is two billion lire [or about $1.5 million] to me in jail?”

Feeling betrayed, she confessed everything just two months before the trial, and told the truth about Reggiani orchestrating the murder. She’d stayed silent for over a year. During court proceedings, Reggiani still attempted to blame Auriemma.

Auriemma portrayed in ‘House of Gucci’

Though Pina Auriemma chooses to keep a low profile these days, Salma Hayek depicts her in House of Gucci. They once were very close, but the self-proclaimed psychic told Reggiani to go to hell. They are no longer in contact, and Auriemma told Italy talk show host Barbara D’Urso that she wants nothing to do with her. Watch House of Gucci when it arrives in theaters on Nov. 24.  

RELATED: ‘House of Gucci’: Lady Gaga Admits She Had ‘Some Psychological Difficulty’ During Filming