Gucci family secret: Heiress alleges she was sexually abused from age 6 onward in Beverly Hills

Nation/world
Gucci's logo is seen on luxury clothing store on Via Condotti Jan. 26, 2003 in Rome, Italy. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Gucci’s logo is seen on luxury clothing store on Via Condotti Jan. 26, 2003 in Rome, Italy. (Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

For nearly a century, the Italian fashion house of Gucci has supplied the world’s affluent with the clothing and leather accessories to cultivate a beautiful, luxurious life. Along the way, the family behind the fashion dynasty prospered, but saw its share of acrimony and scandal: infighting over inheritances, a murder-for-hire plot, federal tax charges, and for a time, Aldo Gucci’s secret second family.

One of Aldo Gucci’s granddaughters, Alexandra Zarini, this week spotlighted another horror in the family history with a lawsuit filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Zarini, 35, alleged that from the time she was 6, her former stepfather, Joseph Ruffalo, sexually assaulted her at home in Beverly Hills — abuse that she typically knew was coming when she heard the ice clinking in his glass of scotch as he made his way toward her bedroom, according to court papers.

Zarini also accused her mother, Patricia Gucci, of enabling her now ex-husband’s alleged molestation, and singled out her grandmother, Bruna Palombo, for knowing about the sexual assaults but instructing her granddaughter “to keep quiet and cover them up,” the lawsuit states.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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