Surviving family members of the Gucci fashion dynasty have expressed unhappiness with their representation in the new film House of Gucci.
In a statement issued on Monday, the heirs of Aldo Gucci – who ran the fashion house for 33 years until the mid-1980s – said they were aggrieved by the lack of consultation by film-makers, as well as their portrayal as “thugs, ignorant and insensitive to the world around them”.
Ridley Scott’s film stars Al Pacino as Aldo Gucci, Jeremy Irons as his brother Rodolfo, and Adam Driver as his nephew Maurizio, who took over the firm until he was murdered in 1995 by a hitman hired by his ex-wife, Patrizia Reggiani (played by Lady Gaga).
Based on the 2000 nonfiction book The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed, the film, said the Guccis, attributes “a tone and an attitude to the protagonists of the well-known events that never belonged to them”.
The statement continued: “This is extremely painful from a human point of view and an insult to the legacy on which the brand is built today.”
The statement went on to protest not only at the film itself, but also “statements from cast members” seemingly defending Reggiani, who they say is “indulged” as “a victim trying to survive in a male and male chauvinist corporate culture”.
Rather, says the statement, the fashion house was “an inclusive company” during its 70-year history under the direct control of the Gucci family, and in the 1980s, when the film is largely set, there were several women in senior positions.
The statement ended by denouncing the film as an insult. “Gucci is a family that lives honouring the work of its ancestors, whose memory does not deserve to be disturbed to stage a spectacle that is untrue and which does not do justice to its protagonists.”
However, despite asserting that “the members of the Gucci family reserve the right to take action to protect the name, image and dignity of themselves and their loved ones”, no legal action appears to be under way.
Patricia Gucci, the only daughter of Aldo, has previously accused Scott of “stealing the identity of a family to make a profit”. The director has dismissed such criticism, citing the Gucci family’s chequered history.
“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 told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme last week. “As soon as you do that, you become part of the public domain.”
Reggiani, who was released from prison five years ago, has also expressed opprobrium that those involved in the film did not attempt to consult her.
Lady Gaga has said she felt this unnecessary: “I only felt that I could truly do this story justice if I approached it with the eye of a curious woman who was interested in possessing a journalistic spirit so that I could read between the lines of what was happening in the film’s scenes,” she told Vogue. “Meaning that nobody was going to tell me who Patrizia Gucci was. Not even Patrizia Gucci.”
The film, Scott’s second release this autumn following The Last Duel, attracted mixed reviews from critics but has exceeded expectations at the box office. It took $22m (£16.5m) over its first weekend in the US and $3.4m (£2.5m) in the UK.