'Black widow' prefers jail time to menial work
Italy's 'black widow', the wealthy socialite who paid a hitman to murder her husband, the multi-millionaire heir to the Gucci fashion empire, has refused to leave jail on day release because she will not lower herself to do a menial job.
Patrizia Reggiani has been in jail ever since being convicted of the killing in 1998. More than a decade later, she has the prospect of day release from Milan's San Vittore prison, if she will accept a job such as working as a waitress.
But the 63-year-old, whose tastes included spending €10,000 a month on orchids, told a court in Milan: "I've never worked in my life and I'm certainly not going to start now."
Her peremptory refusal of the day-release deal echoed one of her more famous quotes: "I would rather weep in a Rolls-Royce than be happy on a bicycle."
Instead she intends to serve the rest of her 26-year sentence in her jail cell.
She will continue to be allowed to make twice-monthly visits to her ageing mother, who lives in a lavish palazzo in central Milan.
Mrs Reggiani was accused in 1995 of paying a hit man to shoot dead her 46-year-old fashion magnate husband, Maurizio Gucci.
She was found guilty three years later and sentenced to 29 years in prison, which was reduced to 26 years on appeal. (© Daily Telegraph, London)