Style guru Valentino, though long retired from the glitzy world of fashion, is holding all the headlines again, this time not for his creations but for having been fined for tax evasion. The Italian authorities from the district of Lazio pursued the case in court and, today, the designer has been sentenced to pay a $39 million fine.
The case was brought up against Valentino and his longtime partner Giancarlo Giammetti, both of them relocating to London more than ten years ago, but failing to pay their taxes in their home country, it has been claimed. The Italian state is saying that, while not in Italy anymore, the duo continued to maintain operations there, operations for which they did not pay any kind of taxes all this time.
Whereas the amount that the designer must now pay has been made public, the same cannot be said for what deadline was assigned to it. However, what is known so far is that, if Valentino does not make the payment in due time, he could also be liable to serve a jail sentence, although such a drastic action is somehow unlikely given his age – he is 76.
Nevertheless, media outlets both on a local and on an international scale point out that the situation is not to be taken lightly, as this is a serious charge and the authorities are set to see this through. Speaking precisely of the way the Italian state acted, a spokesperson for Valentino and Giammetti stated that “they are highly surprised by the position taken by the Italian authority and they will take the appropriate action accordingly.”
Valentino is not the first reputed fashion house to stand accused of tax evasion, albeit it is the one to which the book is now being thrown at. Not long ago, Dolce and Gabbana also came under heavy fire, while, in 2002, Roberto Cavalli was cleared of such accusations.