By Juliet Rylah
Alexandra Zarini, the granddaughter of Aldo Gucci, says her former stepfather sexually abused her at the family's Beverly Hills home when she was a child. These disturbing allegations are laid out in a lawsuit filed with Los Angeles Superior Court earlier this week.
Fashion label Gucci was founded by Guccio Gucci. Aldo Gucci, who died of prostate cancer in 1990, was the founder's eldest son. Aldo Gucci had three children with his first wife and a daughter, Patricia Gucci, with his mistress, Bruna Palombo. Patricia Gucci had two daughters, including Alexandra Zarini, during her first marriage.
The accused is Patricia Gucci's second husband, music manager Joseph Ruffalo. The suit also names Patricia Gucci and Palombo, who Zarini claims encouraged her to remain silent about the abuse, according to the New York Times.
Zarini, now 35, says the abuse began when she was 6 years old and continued until she was 22. She said it started when she would wake up from a nightmare as a child and run to her mother's bed for comfort. Ruffalo would already be in bed, naked, and put her hand on his genitals. The abuse escalated from there, with Ruffalo climbing nude into her bed where he'd fondle her while rubbing his genitals against her body. Zarini also alleges that Ruffalo encouraged her to use drugs as she got older.