Alexandra Zarini, the granddaughter of late fashion designer Aldo Gucci, reveled that she was sexually abused for more than a decade by her stepfather, Joseph Ruffalo. The Gucci heiress said that her mother, Patricia Gucci, and grandmother were aware of the abuse.
Following the startling revelation, Ruffalo, who is divorced from Patricia, denied the allegations of sexually abusing his stepdaughter for 16 years. Patricia too denied having the knowledge of the abuse until 2007 following which she went ahead to divorce her husband.
Lawsuit Details Grisly Details of Sexual Abuse
In a detailed lawsuit filed by Zarini against Ruffalo, her mother and grandmother, the Gucci heiress alleged that both her mother and grandmother, Bruna Palombo, were aware Ruffalo sexually abusing her from a young age and failed to protect her.
According to the Daily Mail, in a lawsuit filed in California, Zarini said that the abuse started when she was just six years old and her mother was yet to get married to her second husband.
Revealing the grisly details of the abuse, the lawsuit stated that Ruffalo would climb naked into her bed and fondle Zarini. The heiress also said that she would find her hand on his genitals when she woke up after climbing into her mother's bed when she had nightmares. On other occasions, Ruffalo would take off his bathrobe and climb naked into her bed before 'reaching underneath her clothes' to fondle her, reported the outlet.
'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 court documents state.
The suit also claims that Ruffalo encouraged Zarini to use drugs when she moved back to California with him after finishing school.
Grandmother Instructed to Keep the Sexual Abuse a Secret
The lawsuit also claimed that after the then 16-year-old Zarini told her grandmother about the sexual abuse, Palombo instructed her to keep it 'secret and not tell anyone about the assaults.' In a video statement released through the the Alexandra Gucci Children's Foundation, Zarini said that she was filing a law suit against her former stepfather, mother and grandmother.
Stating that it was her duty to 'expose the misconceptions' surrounding child sexual abuse, Zarini said she decided to speak out because 'there needs to be accountability for those people who look away and who don't stop child sex abuse from happening.'
In its report The New York Times claimed that Patricia had allowed Ruffalo to videotape Zarini when she took bath. Speaking to the outlet, Zarini said that when she first raised the issue of being abused, both her mother and grandmother threatened to disinherit her if she ever spoke out. They even said that making the issue public would bring 'shame' and 'scandal' to the family and 'no one would believe her'.
'I don't care. I just want to stop this ... I just don't want this to happen to anyone, like my child or any child,' Zarini said.