The billion-dollar name Gucci is synonymous with luxury, high fashion, and opulence. But this week a dark cloud hangs over the fashion powerhouse as allegations of a decades-long sexual abuse coverup come to light by Alexandra Zarini, the 35-year-old great-granddaughter of founder Guccio Gucci.
Zarini has filed a lawsuit with the California Superior Court in Los Angeles alleging that she suffered years of sexual abuse at the hand of stepfather, Joseph Ruffalo. The Gucci heiress also alleges that her mother, Patricia Gucci, and grandmother, Bruna Palombo, both knew of the abuse and intentionally covered it up to save the Gucci name.
In reports from Page Six:
Zarini’s suit alleges that Ruffalo, a music industry player who worked with Prince and Earth, Wind & Fire, established a pattern of abuse that spanned from when she was around 6 years old until she was around 22. She claims he regularly got into bed naked with her, fondled her and attempted to penetrate her with his hands. The filing adds that he would also expose his own genitals to her and rub them against her.
Zarini claims that Patricia not only allowed Ruffalo’s behavior but that both Patricia and Palombo threatened her to keep her quiet.
When Zarini was around 16, the suit claims, her grandmother asked her if Ruffalo was molesting her. When she responded in the affirmative, Palombo told her to keep it a secret. She says she ultimately confronted her mother, who also silenced her. Per the filing, Gucci and Palombo “tried to avoid, at all costs, what they perceived would be a scandal that could tarnish the Gucci name and potentially cost them millions.”
According to the Times, Zarini filed a report with the Beverly Hills Police Department outlining the abuse; the BHPD confirmed this and said the file was still open.
The Gucci dynasty has been rocked by allegations of child abuse and cover-up from the great-granddaughter of the brand’s founder. Alexandra Zarini, the great-granddaughter of Guccio Gucci, has filed a lawsuit in LA against three family members. @VVFriedman https://t.co/UxylqKvohb pic.twitter.com/YiqSiDIZbu
— The Venus Magazine (@TheVenusMagz) September 10, 2020
Zarini said in an interview with the Times, “I just want to stop this…I just don’t want this to happen to anyone like my child, or any child.”