Denial, Italian Style: The New Tax Evasion Trial of Dolce and Gabbana

Net-a-Porter and Mr Porter Host A Party For Dolce & GabbanaIt’s Dolce & Gabbana Tax Trial Time again in Italy. One has to admire D & G’s  stated ability to escape into a state of denial as the State once again goes after a big bucks celeb for taxes. The amount in question for the designing duo? Over 1.3 billion Euros.  And then there’s possible jail time which reminds us of that jailbird Sophia Loren,  who was sentenced to  30 days (she served 18)  in a pink (painted just for her) prison cell for tax evasion ($180,000) in 1982.  But it was no Club Fed experience for  the great star and likely D & G muse. Ironic note: ABC archive clip sponsored by Macy’s w/ holiday commercial featuring that other “let’s make an example of her” female felon, Martha Stewart.

Sophia & Marcello,Ready to Wear, 1994.

Sophia Loren in Jail, Via Vanity Fair:


Sophia Loren at 77


Sophia Loren turns herself in to serve jail time in Naples for tax evasion, 1982

“In May of 1982, Sophia began serving a 30-day jail term for tax evasion, convicted of failing to pay $180,000 in supplementary taxes for 1963–64 (an error, she said, “due to a little mistake by a tax specialist. This man is now dead—may he rest in peace—but now I have to go to prison”). She ended up spending 17 days in the women’s prison at Caserta, 20 miles from Naples, taking her meals alone in her cell, while paparazzi camped outside the gates. 113293746845555316_1aB2wQNM_b83598136804677634_WEBh1u9h_bSOPHIA LOREN     Date:Like the perpetually pregnant Adelina in Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, who goes to jail for selling contraband cigarettes, Sophia left the prison in grand style, wearing dark sunglasses while four escorts carried her luggage to a waiting silver Mercedes. Speculation was that the Pontis were being made examples of because of their international fame, in the Italian government’s efforts to staunch the flow of wealth out of the country. Jo Champa believes “the reason the Pontis were given such a hard time was jealousy. The fact that Carlo—this man from Milan, this intellectual educated in Italy—was able to have the most beautiful woman in the world, and from the south of Italy. And not just from the south, and not even Naples—but from Pozzuoli! And Sophia was essentially fatherless, in a country that reveres patriarchs and the family.”

Via The Cut, New York Magazine and Women’s Wear Daily :

Stefano Gabbana on His Label’s Tax Evasion Charges: ‘We Pretend It Doesn’t Exit.”

The Italian supreme court has resurrected tax evasion charges brought against Dolce & Gabbana years ago that were then dismissed by a lower court. In a lengthy interview, WWD pauses from asking them just how they manage being so great to prod about the case. 

WWD: Fast-forward to today: You are designers whose success has been achieved through hard work over the years. What was your reaction to Italy’s Supreme Court overturning the ruling earlier this year that absolved you of alleged tax evasion?
D.D.: Our response is simple: We work.
S.G.: Our conscience is clear. The decision is in God’s hands.
D.D.: Silence and work, polemics don’t lead anywhere.

WWD: [to Gabbana, who vented his frustration on his Twitter account after the new ruling, as a number of followers urged the designers to pay all their taxes] After so much silence, your comments on your Twitter were met with angry reactions, too.
S.G.: I’m only human, I was fed up. I was not angry, but I was disappointed. What a shame, I felt …

WWD: Do you feel the ruling was unjust?
S.G.: We pretend it doesn’t exist. It’s not in our thoughts on a daily basis. After two hours it was all gone. Luckily I am not resentful.
D.D.: Tomorrow is another day. We enjoy doing this job with love and we’ve never allowed anyone to interfere with our creativity.
S.G.: Did you see any changes? We’ve actually improved.
D.D.: I get jealous if an assistant touches our clothes. We never did this for money…please write it down. But don’t touch our job or our clothes. This is all that matters” – Via NY Magazine , WWD

Elvis & Sophia, 1958

Elvis & Sophia, 1958


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