Historical events on 27 March
151: Spaniard Juan Ponce de León and his expedition first sight Florida
1625: Charles I, King of England, Scotland and Ireland ascends the English throne
1871: 1st international rugby union match – Scotland 1, England 0 at Raeburn Place, Edinburgh
1914: 1st successful non-direct blood transfusion is performed by Dr. Albert Hustin in Brussels
1948: Just 11 days after being released from prison, Billie Holiday plays in front of a sold-out crowd at Carnegie Hall
1952: “Singin’ in the Rain”, musical comedy directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in NYC
1958: Nikita Khrushchev becomes Soviet Premier as well as First Secretary of the Communist Party
1977: 583 die in aviation’s worst ever disaster when two Boeing 747s collide at Tenerife airport in Spain
(Source: On This Day)
Three years later his former wife, Patrizia Reggiani, who is known in Italy as “the Black Widow” or “Lady Gucci”, was jailed after being found guilty of paying a hit-man 300,000 euros to carry out the murder.
Maurizio inherited 50 per cent of the family business after the death of his father in 1983 but spent his money with such reckless abandon that ten years later he was forced to sell his shares to the investment group Investcorp, based in Bahrain.
He married Patrizia, a wealthy Italian socialite in 1973, but he left her in 1985 for a younger woman. The couple divorced in 1991, after which Patrizia was said to be furious about other women that her former husband was dating. Patrizia feared that her daughter’s inheritance would be jeopardised if Maurizio remarried, a situation that became more possible as a procession of women vied for Maurizio’s affections.
Her initial sentence of 29 years was reduced to 26 years on appeal and cut further for good behaviour. She was released after serving 16 years.
Bizarrely, just before her release, Patrizia said in an interview that she wanted to return to the Gucci fold. “I dream of returning to Gucci,” she said. “I still feel like a Gucci – in fact, the most Gucci of all. I have the qualifications: for years I went shopping around the world. I came from the world of jewels and it is to that world that I want to return.”
Outrageously extravagant, Patrizia used to spend thousands of euros a month just on flowers. She once said: “I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle.”