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Gucci's widow jailed for killing.

THE former wife of fashion house heir Maurizio Gucci was sentenced to 29 years in prison yesterday for plotting his murder.

Patrizia Reggiani Martinelli - dubbed the Black Widow - had her ex-husband gunned down to get control of his pounds 78million fortune, a court in Milan heard.

Martinelli, 50, claimed that her psychic adviser, Giuseppina Auriemma, organised the murder and then tried to blackmail her for pounds 230,000.

But Auriemma turned States evidence to testify that she arranged the killing at Martinelli's request.

Gucci, 46, was blasted to death outside his Milan office in 1995.

The five-month trial heard that Martinelli had been unhappy with her pounds 520,000-a-year maintenance.

She told the court: "I deny categorically that I was an accomplice. I have been naive to the point of stupidity. I found myself involved against my will."

In a last-ditch plea of innocence yesterday Martinelli pointed her finger at Auriemma and said: "Never let even a friendly wolf into the chicken coop. Sooner or later it will get hungry."

She went to jail still protesting her innocence and saying: "Truth is the child of time."
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Author:Chaytor, Rod
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 4, 1998
Words:186
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