Los Angeles, California – Today, Alexandra Zarini — a survivor of child sex abuse and founder of the Gucci Children’s Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to ending child sex abuse — released the following statement responding to the allegations made by Patricia Gucci in a motion to quash the service of summons and evade Zarini’s lawsuit. Zarini filed a civil case in September of last year against Joseph Ruffalo for child sexual abuse and against her mother Patricia Gucci and grandmother Bruna Palombo for negligence and complicity.
“The allegations in the motion filed by my mother and grandmother, Patricia Gucci and Bruna Palombo, are just their latest effort to avoid blame for their role in the sexual abuse and trauma that my sister and I endured. They are a perfect example of why so many survivors of childhood sexual assault take years or never even come forward to share their stories and seek justice. If their goal is to try to silence me or stop me from sharing my story and seeking justice, they will not succeed.
“Even though I was only an 8-year-old girl at the time, I tried to protect my younger sister from my mother’s ex-husband. I told my 4-year-old sister to try to stay away from Ruffalo and as a teen, I called her out of a room where she and Ruffalo were alone. The fact that both Victoria and I were scared and couldn’t trust our own mother to protect us underscores the toxic and coercive environment my sister and I faced as young children, and the lack of care and support I detailed in my lawsuit.
“To insinuate that I am to blame for the sexual abuse perpetrated by Patricia’s ex-husband on my little sister, when I myself was being abused, demonstrates a deep misunderstanding of the trauma and the psychological effects of sexual abuse on a young child. It shows that my mother Patricia has never attempted to understand the effects of child sexual abuse or even try to heal the family as she has claimed.
“Despite claims of my mother trying to support me and my sister, she has refused to cooperate with authorities in both Beverly Hills and England who are investigating the claims of child sexual abuse I filed against Ruffalo. These are the claims my mother should have filed and pursued years ago, not only to get justice for Victoria and me, but also to protect other children from potentially being assaulted. She chose to protect her image instead and avoid accountability.
“Her continued effort to evade my lawsuit is another attempt to avoid accountability for her negligence and complicity. Today, however, I will not be silent and I will continue to seek justice.”
Alexandra Zarini is a survivor and advocate for survivors of child sex abuse. She is the founder of the Alexandra Gucci Children’s Foundation, a non-profit organization working to end child sex abuse. Zarini recently shared her story with professionals, volunteers and other survivors of child sex abuse in a keynote address at the National Prevention Conference IGNITE 2021. In her address, Zarini called for the United Nations to draft a global accord to end CSA and called on the US Congress and the current Biden administration to declare CSA a public health emergency.
Download this press release here [PDF].