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Who Is Jenny Gucci, The British Socialite Once Dubbed A 'Fake Gucci'?
Jenny Garwood, known as Jenny Gucci, has a complicated relationship with others baring the famous last name.
Though the feature film “House of Gucci” primarily depicts the difficult marriage between Patrizia Reggiani (Lady Gaga) and Maurizio Gucci (Adam Driver), it still depicts the major and minor characters of the extended Gucci family, including Jenny Gucci.
Jennifer “Jenny” Gucci, played by Florence Andrews, is a British socialite who married the late Paolo Gucci in 1977. Her maiden name was Jenny Garwood and she was Paolo’s second wife.
Paolo, played by Jared Leto in “House of Gucci," was once the chief designer and vice-president of Gucci and Maurizio Gucci's cousin. He has been credited with helping to create Gucci's recognizable interlocking G logo. He also died in 1995, albeit of natural causes, at the age of 64.
Maurizio Gucci was gunned down in the foyer of his Milan office in 1995. His ex-wife, Reggiani, was convicted in 1998 for setting up the hit and subsequently sentenced to 29 years in prison, 18 of which she served.
Jenny didn’t seem to have much sympathy for any dead Guccis... including her former husband, whom she split from in 1990.
"The Gucci men are alike — amoral,'' she told the New York Times in 1998 during Reggiani's trial. "They are multimillionaire playboys. Nobody has a lot of sympathy for them."
No blood relative was at the murder trial on Maurizio’s behalf, as by then he had seemingly isolated much of his relatives through lawsuits and other turmoil, according to the New York Times.
Before he died of chronic hepatitis, Jenny had been suing Paolo (who reportedly left her for a teen girl) for allegedly failing to pay around half a million in child support for the daughter they shared together, Women’s Wear Daily reported in August. (He spent time in jail for contempt of court in the case prior to his death, according to the New York Times.)
The turbulent relationship between Paolo and Jenny didn’t end when he died. The former couple’s marriage — and whether or not there was even a real marriage — has become an ongoing source of drama within the Gucci family.
Patrizia Gucci, Paolo’s daughter from his first marriage, disputed that Jenny and her father were ever legally married at all, suggesting their marriage was performed before her parents' divorce was final. And, she blasted her former step-mom in a 2009 New York Daily News piece for allegedly trying to profit off their famous last name.
In the piece, entitled “She’s a fake Gucci!” Patrizia claimed "she never had any sorrow for the death of my father. Now she wants to put the Gucci name everywhere. She just wants more and more."
At the time, Jenny ran her own skincare products and bedding lines while utilizing the glamorous surname.
“This woman does not have the right to the name Gucci,” Patrizia insisted in the 2009 story.
Jenny also wrote a book under the name Jenny Gucci, entitled “Gucci Wars: How I Survived Murder and Intrigue at the Heart of the World's Biggest Fashion House,” which was published in 2010.
“Desperate to break away from the influence of the family, Jenny instigated a divorce from Paolo — a move that left her homeless, penniless, hungry, and facing weekly court confrontations that would last for 10 years,” a summary of the book reads. “She suffered threats and intimidation from him and feared for her safety and for that of their daughter Gemma, who he also refused to support. Even a spell in jail for contempt of court failed to move him.”
Paolo's daughter Patrizia Gucci and other Gucci descendants have expressed distaste for the upcoming film. Like she has with Jenny, Patrizia has publicly accused the filmmakers of improperly profiting off the Gucci empire and name.
“We are truly disappointed. I speak on behalf of the family,” she told the Associated Press in April. “They are stealing the identity of a family to make a profit, to increase the income of the Hollywood system....Our family has an identity, privacy. We can talk about everything. but there is a borderline that cannot be crossed.”
"Horrible, horrible. I still feel offended," she said of Leto's overweight, unkempt appearance while portraying her father."
“House of Gucci,” directed by veteran filmmaker Ridley Scott, is slated to hit theaters on Nov. 24. It’s based on the 2001 book “The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour and Greed.” Earlier this week, Oxygen featured the book as its Book Club pick for the month.