Gucci Wars....

Jenny Gucci
with Mary Harboe 
John Blake Publishing £17.99 

*** Gucci Wars goes German - November 5th 2009 is the date scheduled for the release of Gucci Wars on the German speaking world***.

I was a beautiful, slender, blonde operatic student in Florence in 1977 when I caught the eye of one of the world’s wealthiest men.  I didn’t realize at the time that I was gorgeous or particularly worthy of his attention, but I did know that I was falling in love and nine months later I was Mrs. Paolo Gucci and life would never be the same again. 

“I don’t regret marrying Paolo.  It was absolutely, bloody marvellous being Mrs Gucci.  There were no drawbacks, at all, I lapped up every moment of it – the travel, the servants, the parties, everything.  I loved my husband deeply and, for ten years or so, I was blissfully happy”

Unfortunately for Jenny Gucci things didn’t remain that way. Instead it became … 

For ten or so glorious years, I lived the high life, with unbelievable wealth and privilege, staying at the world’s top addresses and keeping company with celebrities and royalty. But all this was against the backdrop of a powerful and controlling Italian family - rife with scandals, jealousy and rivalry.  

Behind closed doors the Gucci family was not nearly as glamorous as its fashion creations. The brothers and their father were constantly at each other’s throats. As an outsider, you cannot interfere in the dynamics of an Italian family. Patrizia, who was married to Paolo’s cousin (a sweet man who was also high up in the family business) tried to break away and ended up murdering her husband - a crime for which she remains behind the bars of a Milan jail to this day. 

I too became desperate for freedom and so committed another unforgivable sin: instigating divorce proceedings, little knowing that this move would leave me penniless, homeless, literally hungry and facing weekly court confrontations which would last for ten years. Paolo even refused to pay child support for our then 14-year-old daughter Gemma. A plot to kidnap her was also uncovered.  

Paolo’s responsibilities within the Gucci Empire included designing most of the famous handbags and scarves – although he was artistic and creative and in our early years together had an almost hypnotic gentleness, underneath he was a tough and ruthless man. His cruel and vindictive nature became apparent when the world watched in horror how he had starved his magnificent Arab racehorses in a sick attempt to plead poverty.  

During our divorce, he got through five legal teams and told so many lies that one day a New York judge sent him to jail. He was bodily removed from the court room between two burly guards and taken to the Bronx penitentiary. To witness this humiliation of a man I had once loved, was so devastating that I broke down and cried in court.  

Undoubtedly all these experiences have made me a strong and independent woman – I must be to have survived. My soprano voice and performing in concert still gives me great pleasure and I enjoy a close and loving relationship with Gemma (23) who has a successful and happy life in New York. Paolo died of natural causes at the age of 64 in 1995.

"Gucci Wars goes German”

November 5th 2009 is the date scheduled for the release of Gucci Wars on the German speaking world. It will coincide with a sparkling media circus seeing Jenny Gucci making many high profile appearances in Vienna, Berlin and Hamburg.

The English paperback edition was published by John Blake's in summer 2009.