Gucci Heir Alexandra Zarini Alleges Her Stepfather Sexually Abused Her, Files Lawsuit

Alexandra Zarini

Alexandra Zarini, the granddaughter of Aldo Gucci, filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday against three of her family members. Zarini claimed she was sexually abused by her former stepfather, Joseph Ruffalo, and a cover-up on the part of her mother, Patricia Gucci, and grandmother, Bruna Palombo.

Zarini’s lawsuit alleges that Ruffalo, a music-industry player, sexually abused her from the age of six to when she was about 22 years old. Ruffalo’s actions continued even when Zarini was a teenager and went to a boarding school in England. As per reports, a school friend confirmed her allegations against Ruffalo as she told that Zarini confided in her about what was happening.

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Alexandra Zarini’s Allegations

According to court documents, she has described how he used to regularly climb naked in her bed since she was six, allegedly fondling her breasts and genitals, flashing his genitals at her, rubbing his penis against her body. Alexandra’s lawsuit also claimed that her mother, Patricia Gucci and grandmother, Bruna Palombo covered her former stepfather’s acts.

The lawsuit further claims, Ruffalo continued to sexually assault Zarini and “encouraged” her “to use drugs.” Zarini reportedly acknowledges using cocaine and crystal meth.

According to the filing, “Defendant Ruffalo would remove his bathrobe, so he was completely naked, and climb into bed with Plaintiff. Plaintiff would lie stiffly in her bed as Defendant Ruffalo reached underneath Plaintiff’s clothes to touch Plaintiff’s nipples. The defendants “tried to avoid, at all costs, what they perceived would be a scandal that could tarnish the Gucci name and potentially cost them millions.” She also said he attempted to penetrate her with his hands.

In a statement emailed to The New York Times, Patricia Gucci wrote: “I am deeply sorry for the pain Joseph Ruffalo caused Alexandra. What he did to her is inexcusable and I was devastated when she disclosed everything to me at our family doctor’s office in London in September 2007. I immediately initiated divorce proceedings against Mr. Ruffalo and set about healing my family through counseling. I am equally devastated by the allegations against me and her grandmother, which are completely false.”

Ruffalo’s lawyer, Richard P. Crane Jr., said “My client has not been served and has not read the complaint. Therefore, he is not aware of all of the allegations that the Complaint contains. What he has been informed of, he vehemently and categorically denies. While married to Alexandra’s mother, Mr. Ruffalo and his wife were greatly concerned about the mental well-being of Alexandra and took steps to address her instability. Apparently, their efforts failed.”

Also Read: How Carceral Feminism Is Far From Bringing Justice In Cases Of Sexual Violence

Why Alexandra Zarini Decided to Open Up?

On a Zoom call from California, Zarini pointed out that “two incidents and a change in California law led her to decide to move forward with a suit, despite more than a decade having elapsed.” First, is the birth of her child four years ago and second is discovering that her former stepfather Ruffalo was volunteering at a children’s hospital in Los Angeles.

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Khushi Gupta is an intern with SheThePeople.TV