Connect with us


From The House of Gucci Plot to the Assassination of Gianni Versace



Lady Gaga and Adam Driver’s new movie House of Gucci is the latest true crime dramatization to hit our screens, exploring the events that led to the 1995 murder of Maurizio Gucci.

Spanning over the course of two decades, the film details how Gucci met his future wife Patrizia Reggiani at a party in the early 70s, before they married in 1972 and welcomed their daughters Alessandra and Allegra in 1976 and 1981, respectively (although the film only mentions Alessandra).

But this isn’t a straight-forward love story. Not only is Reggiani depicted as a Machiavellian-like temptress who orchestrates a hostile takeover of her husband’s family’s business (the famed Italian fashion house), she is then portrayed as a scorned lover who resorts to hiring a hitman after her spouse files for divorce.

While some viewers may be surprised by the events that take place in the movie, the murder plot and Reggiani’s conviction are very much real.

What’s more, it isn’t the only assassination or serious crime to be associated with a world-renowned fashion brand. Here, we take a look at some of the most notorious crimes against fashion.

The Assassination of Maurizio Gucci — 1995

House of Gucci
Lady Gaga and Adam Driver at the villa in Gressoney Saint-Jean where they filmed “House of Gucci”, the property is now on sale.
Universal Pictures

Maurizio Gucci was assassinated on the steps outside his office in Milan, Italy on March 27, 1995, aged 46.

Despite playing an instrumental part in the takeover of his family’s fashion house, Gucci served his wife Patrizia Reggiani divorce papers in 1994. He also began dating his childhood friend, Paola Franchi, in 1990.

Following Gucci’s death, it was discovered that Reggiani had hired a hitman to kill her ex-husband—something which prosecutors attributed to jealousy.

Often dubbed the “Black Widow,” Reggiani was sentenced to 29 years in prison in 1997 after arranging her husband Maurizio Gucci’s murder.

Her sentence was reduced to 26 years in 2000, and she was released in 2016 after serving 18 years in prison.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace — 1997

Gianni and Donatella Versace
Gianni and Donatella Versace worked closely together on the family fashion label Versace, pictured here in 1996.
Catherine McGann/Getty Images

Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace was shot on the morning of July 15, 1997 outside his Miami Beach mansion in Florida. He was later pronounced dead at the Jackson Memorial Hospital at 9am.

During the investigation, police believed Versace knew his killer, Andrew Cunanan, and that the pair had met previously in San Francisco, California in 1990. There is still debate about this.

While Versace’s assassination undoubtedly attracted global attention, it was also the culmination of a months-long killing spree carried out by Cunanan; in April 1997, he claimed the life of his close friend Jeffrey Trail after an argument. He then murdered David Madson, Lee Miglin and William Reese, before turning his attention toward the fashion star, whom he was obsessed with.

Eight days after Versace’s murder, a caretaker of a houseboat moored by Collins Avenue notified police after hearing a gunshot. A SWAT team then descended on the scene, throwing tear gas into the property, before Cunanan’s body was discovered. He had taken his own life.

The Von Dutch Shooting — 2005

Robert “Bobby” Vaughn shot and killed his friend Mark Rivas during a drunken fight in February 2005, in which the latter also slashed the former with a broken beer bottle.

Vaughn was a co-founder of the Von Dutch fashion label alongside Ed Boswell and Mike Cassel, but he was later bought out of the company by Danish investor Tonny Sorensen, who became CEO in 2000.

After being fired from the company, Vaughn turned to Rivas and began to run in the same gangster circles as his friend.

Vaughn was charged with first-degree murder for killing Rivas, but he was later acquitted by a jury when it was ruled Rivas’ death was a “justifiable homicide.”

The Vittorio Missoni Plane Crash — 2013

Vittorio Missoni and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni
Vittorio Missoni and his wife Maurizia Castiglioni attend the Missoni Home Milano cocktail party on April 13, 2010 in Milan, Italy.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Italian fashion executive Vittorio Missoni went missing when his plane vanished off the coast of Venezuela on January 4, 2013.

The CEO of fashion house Missoni was with his wife Maurizia Castiglioni, two friends Guido Foresti and Elda Scalvenzi, and two crew members at the time.

The plane wreckage was found in June 2013 and in October there were reports that the bodies of the five passengers were recovered, but Missoni’s family later confirmed that it was only the two pilots and Castiglioni who had been found.

In January 2014 the family issued a statement saying: “As of today there have been no biological remains found that identify Vittorio Missoni, Guido Foresti or Elda Scalvenzi.

“In Venezuela the investigation to determine the causes and dynamics of the accident and the identity of all passengers are ongoing.”

The Murder of Harry Uzoka — 2018

Harry Uzoka
Harry Uzoka attends the launch of ‘Hunger Magazine, We’ve Got Issues’ at W London – Leicester Square on February 20, 2015 in London, England. The model was stabbed to death in 2018 by a fellow model.
David M. Benett/Getty Images for Hunger Magazine

Harry Uzoka was a young model who was stabbed to death following a fight with a rival model in Shepherd’s Bush, London, in January 2018 at the age of 25.

Uzoka was stabbed in the heart by rival model George Koh, who was convicted of murder and given a life sentence in August that year.

Two other men, Merse Dikanda and Jonathan Okigbo, were also convicted at the time, Dikanda was given a life sentence for murder and Okigbo received a 14-year sentence for manslaughter.

Uzoka and Koh were originally friends but their friendship deteriorated when the latter claimed to have had sex with the former’s model girlfriend, Ruby Campbell.

The pair arranged to settle their dispute with a fight in Shepherd’s Bush, and Koh, Dikanda and Okigbo armed themselves with three knives, one of which was a machete.

Uzoka had gone to the fight with his flatmate Adrian Harper and they took dumbbells with them, Harper later claimed in court that they were “expecting a fist fight.”

Continue Reading


Woman passenger from UK tests Covid positive at Hyderabad airport



Hyderabad: A 35-year-old international passenger who reached the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport here on Wednesday has tested positive for Covid-19 after undergoing an RT-PCR test at the airport itself. The woman passenger had traveled from the United Kingdom, which has been categorised as an ‘At Risk Country’. 

The passenger has been admitted to the Telangana Institute of Medical Sciences (TIMS) and samples were collected and sent for genetic sequencing. Officials said she did not have any symptoms and that her health condition was being monitored closely. 

According to officials, the woman hails from Rangareddy district and was on a visit to UK from Hyderabad. Though her close relatives tested negative, their health condition is also being monitored. 

Now you can get handpicked stories from Telangana Today on Telegram everyday. Click the link to subscribe.

Hyderabad News

click here for more Hyderabad News

Click to follow Telangana Today Facebook page and Twitter .

Continue Reading


Revealed: how Sidney Powell could be disbarred for lying in court for Trump | US elections 2020



Sidney Powell, the former lawyer for Donald Trump who filed lawsuits across America for the former president, hoping to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, has on several occasions represented to federal courts that people were co-counsel or plaintiffs in her cases without seeking their permission to do so, the Guardian has learned.

Some of these individuals say that they only found out that Powell had named them once the cases were already filed.

During this same period of time, Powell also named several other lawyers – with their permission in those instances – as co-counsel in her election-related cases, despite the fact that they played virtually no role whatsoever in bringing or litigating those cases.

Both Powell’s naming of other people as plaintiffs or co-counsel without their consent and representing that other attorneys were central to her cases when, in fact, their roles were nominal or nonexistent, constitute serious potential violations of the American Bar Association model rules for professional conduct, top legal ethicists told the Guardian.

Powell’s misrepresentations to the courts in those particular instances often aided fundraising for her nonprofit, Defending the Republic. Powell had told prospective donors that the attorneys were integral members of an “elite strike force” who had played outsized roles in her cases – when in fact they were barely involved if at all.

A couple poses for a photo in front of a Trump campaign bus at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, on 2 December 2020.
A couple poses for a photo in front of a Trump campaign bus at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, on 2 December 2020. Photograph: Nathan Posner/REX/Shutterstock

Powell did not respond to multiple requests for comment via phone, email, and over social media.

The State Bar of Texas is already investigating Powell for making other allegedly false and misleading statements to federal courts by propagating increasingly implausible conspiracy theories to federal courts that Joe Biden’s election as president of the United States was illegitimate.

The Texas bar held its first closed-door hearing regarding the allegations about Powell on 4 November. Investigations by state bar associations are ordinarily conducted behind closed doors and thus largely opaque to the public.

A federal grand jury has also been separately investigating Powell, Defending the Republic, as well as a political action committee that goes by the same name, for fundraising fraud, according to records reviewed by the Guardian.

Among those who have alleged that Powell falsely named them as co-counsel is attorney Linn Wood, who brought and litigated with Powell many of her lawsuits attempting to overturn the results of the election with her, including in the hotly contested state of Michigan.

The Michigan case was a futile attempt by Powell to erase Joe Biden’s victory in that state and name Trump as the winner. On 25 August, federal district court Judge Linda Parker, of Michigan, sanctioned Powell and nine other attorneys who worked with her for having engaged in “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process” in bringing the case in the first place. Powell’s claims of election fraud, Parker asserted, had no basis in law and were solely based on “speculation, conjecture, and unwarranted suspicion”.

Parker further concluded that the conduct of Powell, Wood, and the eight other attorneys who they worked with, warranted a “referral for investigation and possible suspension or disbarment to the appropriate disciplinary authority for each state … in which each attorney is admitted”.

Wood told the court in the Michigan case that Powell had wrongly named him as one of her co-counsel in the Michigan case. During a hearing in the case to determine whether to sanction Wood, his defense largely rested on his claim that he had not been involved in the case at all. Powell, Wood told the court, had put his name on the lawsuit without her even telling him.

A man holds a sign reading "The dead cannot vote" at a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Trump supporters attend a rally in Alpharetta, Georgia, where Sidney Powell spoke on efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Photograph: Nathan Posner/REX/Shutterstock

Wood said: “I do not specifically recall being asked about the Michigan complaint … In this case obviously my name was included. My experience or my skills apparently were never needed, so I didn’t have any involvement with it.”

Wood’s attorney, Paul Stablein, was also categorical in asserting that his client had nothing to do with the case, telling the Guardian in an interview: “He didn’t draft the complaint. He didn’t sign it. He did not authorize anyone to put his name on it.”

Powell has denied she would have ever named Wood as a co-counsel without Wood’s permission.

But other people have since come forward to say that Powell has said that they were named as plaintiffs or lawyers in her election-related cases without their permission.

In a Wisconsin voting case, a former Republican candidate for Congress, Derrick Van Orden, said he only learned after the fact that he had been named as a plaintiff in one of Powell’s cases.

“I learned through social media today that my name was included in a lawsuit without my permission,” Van Orden said in a statement he posted on Twitter, “To be clear, I am not involved in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the election in Wisconsin.”

Jason Shepherd, the Republican chairman of Georgia’s Cobb county, was similarly listed as a plaintiff in a Georgia election case without his approval.

In a 26 November 2020 statement, Shepherd said he had been talking to an associate of Powell’s prior to the case’s filing about the “Cobb GOP being a plaintiff” but said he first “needed more information to at least make sure the executive officers were in agreeing to us being a party in the suit”. The Cobb County Republican party later agreed to remain plaintiffs in the case instead of withdrawing.

Leslie Levin, a professor at the University of Connecticut Law School, said in an interview: “Misrepresentations to the court are very serious because lawyers are officers of the court. Bringing a lawsuit in someone’s name when they haven’t consented to being a party is a very serious misrepresentation and one for which a lawyer should expect to face serious discipline.”

Nora Freeman Engstrom, a law professor at Stanford University, says that Powell’s actions appear to violate Rule 3.3 of the ABA’s model rules of professional misconduct which hold that “a lawyer shall not knowingly … make a false statement of fact of law to a tribunal”.

Since election day last year, federal and state courts have dismissed more than 60 lawsuits alleging electoral fraud and irregularities by Powell, and other Trump allies.

Shortly after the election, Trump named Powell as a senior member of an “elite strike force” who would prove that Joe Biden only won the 2020 presidential race because the election was stolen from him. But Trump refused to pay her for her services. To remedy this, Powell set up a new nonprofit called Defending the Republic; its stated purpose is to “protect the integrity of elections in the United States”.

As a nonprofit, the group is allowed to raise unlimited amounts of “dark money” and donors are legally protected from the ordinary requirements to disclose their identities to the public. Powell warned supporters that for her to succeed, “millions of dollars must be raised”.

Echoing Trump’s rhetoric, Powell told prospective donors that Defending the Republic had a vast team of experienced litigators.

Sidney Powell speaks at a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia.
Sidney Powell speaks at a press conference on election results in Alpharetta, Georgia. Photograph: Elijah Nouvelage/Reuters

Among the attorneys who Powell said made up this “taskforce” were Emily Newman, who had served Trump as the White House liaison to the Department of Health and Human Services and as a senior official with the Department of Homeland Security. Newman had been a founding board member of Defending the Republic.

But facing sanctions in the Michigan case, some of the attorneys attempted to distance themselves from having played much of a meaningful role in her litigation.

Newman’s attorney told Parker, the judge, that Newman had “not played a role in the drafting of the complaint … My client was a contract lawyer working from home who spent maybe five hours on this matter. She really wasn’t involved … Her role was de minimis.”

To have standing to file her Michigan case, Powell was initially unable to find a local attorney to be co-counsel on her case but eventually attorney Gregory Rohl agreed to help out.

But when Rohl was sanctioned by Parker and referred to the Michigan attorney disciplinary board for further investigation, his defense was that he, too, was barely involved in the case. He claimed that he only received a copy of “the already prepared” 830-page initial complaint at the last minute, reviewed it for “well over an hour”, while then “making no additions, decisions or corrections” to the original.

As with Newman, Parker, found that Rohl violated ethics rules by making little, if any, effort to verify the facts of the claims in Powell’s filings.

In sanctioning Rohl, the judge wrote that “the court finds it exceedingly difficult to believe that Rohl read an 830-page complaint in just ‘well over an hour’ on the day he filed it. So, Rohl’s argument in and of itself reveals sanctionable conduct.”

Continue Reading


Govt to introduce important Bill, Covid situation likely to be discussed



The government on Thursday will table ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill 2021’ in the Lok Sabha. A discussion on Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic and its various related aspects is also likely to take place in the lower House.

Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya will move the ‘The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (Amendment) Bill’ in the Lok Sabha to amend the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research Act, 1998.

Under rule 193, a discussion on Covid-19 pandemic and various aspects related to it will likely take place. According to sources, the members may also raise their concern and ask for the government’s preparedness for the new Omicron variant. Under Rule 193, members can seek details about the new Covid variant. “Short duration discussion is likely to be held in the Lok Sabha on the Covid and its various aspects, including new Omicron variant,” sources said.

Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Prahlad Singh Patel, General V.K. Singh, Krishan Pal, Bhanu Pratap Verma, Rameshwar Teli and Kaushal Kishore will lay papers on the table. Reports and action reports of different standing committees will also be laid in the day.

The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Assisted Reproductive Technology (Amendment) Bill 2021 (ART) by voice vote as the amendments moved by the DMK MP N.K. Prem Chandran, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy and Shiv Sena MP Vinayak Raut were negated. The ART Bill seeks to regulate fertility clinics. All such clinics will have to be registered under the National Registry of Banks and Clinics of India.

The opposition is likely to continue to raise its voices on price rise, unemployment and extended jurisdiction of the Border Security Force (BSF) in some states. The opposition parties are also demanding a law guaranteeing the minimum support price (MSP).

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Continue Reading