The Gucci family is not pleased with the depiction of their relatives in the new film House of Gucci. In a statement issued this week, they said the narrative is “anything but accurate” and that the filmmakers did not consult them at all.
The Guccis, who have no association anymore with the global luxury brand bearing their name, have been concerned about the Ridley Scott film from the beginning. Now that it’s out, they’re taking issue with specifics, including the idea that Patrizia Reggiani, who was convicted and imprisoned for hiring a hit man to kill Maurizio Gucci, is depicted as a victim in a male-dominated company.
House of Gucci goes beyond the headlines of the 1995 murder and subsequent trial. Based on a book by Sara Gay Forden, it begins in the late 1970s and follows the relationship of Reggiani (Lady Gaga) and heir Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver) from courtship and marriage to separation and his murder. The story paints Reggiani as a Lady Macbeth-type who helped Maurizio rise and take control of the company from his uncle Aldo Gucci (Al Pacino) and cousin Paolo Gucci (Jared Leto).
Heirs say they weren’t consulted
“The film’s production did not bother to consult the heirs before describing Aldo Gucci — president of the company for 30 years — and the members of the Gucci family as thugs who were ignorant and insensitive to the world around them, attributing entirely fabricated attitudes and conduct to the protagonists of the notorious events,” the family’s statement said.
They also said they reserve the right to, “take any action necessary to protect the name, image and dignity of themselves and their loved ones.”
The Gucci family has not been involved with the Gucci fashion house since 1993, when Maurizio sold his remaining stake to the Bahrain-based company, Investcorp. It was later bought by the French group PPR, which is now Kering.
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Scott has previously defended himself and his film against criticisms from the Guccis, including Patrizia Gucci’s comment to The Associated Press that they were, “stealing the identity of a family to make a profit.”
Patrizia Gucci is the daughter of Paolo Gucci and granddaughter of Aldo Gucci.
“You have to remember that one Gucci was murdered and another went to jail for tax evasion, so you can’t be talking to me about making a profit,” Scott said last week in an interview with BBC Radio. “As soon as you do that, you become part of the public domain.”
A representative for Scott said there was, “nothing to add.” The studio, MGM, did not have any comment either.
‘Ultimately it was tragic’: Tom Ford
The family members aren’t the only ones close to the story who are commenting on the filmmaking choices. Designer and filmmaker Tom Ford, who was the creative director of Gucci from 1994 to 2004 and is depicted in the film, wrote a piece for Air Mail in which he likened the experience to living through a hurricane.
“It is hard for me to divorce reality from the glossy, heavily lacquered soap opera that I witnessed on-screen,” Ford wrote. “As with most films based on a true story, facts are altered, characters are exaggerated, timelines warped — and, in the end, who cares as long as these alterations yield a great movie?
“I was deeply sad for several days after watching House of Gucci, a reaction that I think only those of us who knew the players and the play will feel. It was hard for me to see the humour and camp in something that was so bloody. In real life, none of it was camp. It was at times absurd, but ultimately it was tragic.”
The fashion house co-operated with House of Gucci, opening its archives to the film company for wardrobe and props. Salma Hayek, the wife of Kering CEO François-Henri Pinault, appears in the film as Giuseppina “Pina” Auriemma, a psychic who becomes Reggiani’s friend and accomplice. Leto is a close friend of creative director Alessandro Michele. And many of the stars have worn Gucci at various events supporting the film.