Culture

Gucci Heiress Alexandra Gucci Zarini Was Allegedly Sexually Abused By Her Stepfather And She Says Her Family Covered It Up For 16 Years

By Gina Florio
·  5 min read
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High-fashion brand Gucci is owned by Balenciaga's parent company, Kering, and heiress Alexandra Gucci Zarini came forward in 2020 to allege she was sexually abused by her stepfather for many years—and the Gucci family intentionally covered for him instead of protecting her.

Balenciaga's name has been dragged through the mud for the last few weeks after the high-fashion brand released a campaign featuring young girls holding bondage teddy bears and standing on top of court documents from a Supreme Court case about child pornography. Ever since the brand was forced to apologize and remove the campaign, investigative journalists and everyday social media users have been digging deeper into the roots of Balenciaga and its parent company Kering.

Balenciaga and Its Parent Company Kering Have a History with Pedophilic Content

The S&M teddy bear photo shoot was just the tip of the iceberg. The very next campaign that Balenciaga released featured art books that glamorize pedophilia, cannibalism, and the occult. Some of the images look very similar to the kind of photo shoots that artists like Marina Abramovic, who is known for hosting "spirit cooking" events with powerful people in the fashion and political world, have done with fashion magazines in the past. And many of the paintings depict dystopian, disturbing scenarios in which adults are leading around young children in occult-like costumes with their heads and faces covered fully in hoods, naked toddlers covered in blood playing with severed human body parts, and young children standing around a rodent presumably getting ready to sacrifice it for an occult ritual. It has left many people wondering why on earth a fashion brand would willingly display these types of books in a fashion campaign.

But of course it doesn't stop there. Balenciaga's parent company Kering is associated with some extremely disturbing content too. The CEO of Kering, François-Henri Pinault (who is married to actress Salma Hayek), owns Christie's auction house, a famous auction site that sells a series of pedophilic art. Brothers Jake and Dinos Chapman created multiple child sex mannequins that are extremely disturbing and predatory. There is one piece of art in particular that is labeled F*ck Face. It's a male toddler with an erect penis in place of his nose and an anus in place of his mouth. The piece of art shows the boy walking with a large brown t-shirt on and purple sneakers. It sold for $140,000. This is just one example of many similar mannequins.

It's important to note that Kering also owns the following luxury brands: Adidas, Bottega Veneta, Alexander McQueen, Yves Saint Laurent, Puma, Montblanc, and Gucci. And a Gucci heiress came forward a couple years ago to allege that she was sexually abused by her stepfather while the Gucci family covered it up for years.

Gucci Heiress Alexandra Gucci Zarini Was Allegedly Sexually Abused by Her Stepfather and She Says Her Family Covered It up for Years

Alexandra Gucci Zarini, 37, came forward in 2020 to allege she was sexually abused for years at the hands of her stepfather, Joseph Ruffalo. Zarini is the granddaughter of industry titan Aldo Gucci, and she says from the ages of 6 to 22 she was sexually abused by Ruffalo—and even worse, her mother, Patricia Gucci, and her grandmother, Bruna Palombo, knew of the abuse and groomed her for Ruffalo. She alleges they allowed him to videotape her naked in the bathtub while he hit her, in addition to a slew of other physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Zarini says both women were pressured to stay quiet by Ruffalo.

Zarini filed a lawsuit in a Los Angeles court in 2020, alleging that her mother would hit or try to choke her, and then Ruffalo would step in and act like her rescuer, only to abuse her in even worse ways. She said she knew the abuse was coming because she could hear the ice clinking in his glass of scotch, which meant he was headed to her bedroom. He allegedly also encouraged her to use cocaine and crystal meth. The lawsuit alleges that Ruffalo would get into Zarini's bed naked and digitally raped her and rubbed his genitals on her. Palombo allegedly told her "to keep quiet" and cover everything up.

“If you think this doesn’t happen here in Beverly Hills, then you should know that my perpetrator still lives in California, spends time at the Bel-Air country club and volunteers in your children’s hospitals,” she said in a video.

“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," Zarini's mother Patricia Gucci said in a statement. However, she said that her allegations against her and Palombo were untrue. “I am equally devastated by the allegations against me and her grandmother, which are completely false,” she said.

These dark, disturbing allegations really make you wonder why these Kering luxury brands are associated with so much child abuse and pedophilia, whether it's pedophilic art, child sex abuse allegations, or predatory campaigns featuring minors with bondage teddy bears. At some point, you have to acknowledge that these can't all just be coincidences. What else are these brands hiding? What else is hiding beneath the surface?