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The story of selling a millionaire dog mansion turns out to be a long-standing ruse


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) – Editor’s note: AP replaces the story of the sale of a Miami mansion that once belonged to Madonna with this article, which explains how the story of a German Shepherd and d ‘a trust has long been used as a publicity stunt to dupe journalists. The AP has fallen for parts of the stunt and removes the mistaken story.

For more than 20 years, a line of German Shepherds named Gunther has been featured in reports as the wealthy beneficiaries of a German countess.

The story appears to be a ruse created by Maurizio Mian, the descendant of an Italian pharmaceutical company, who used the story of the globe-trotting dog to promote real estate sales and other projects.

The Associated Press reported last week that a dog, Gunther VI, was selling a Miami mansion he bought from Madonna for $ 7.5 million in 2000 for $ 31.75 million. The story cites Gunther’s “master” claims that the dog belonged to a long line of dogs bequeathed by the fortune of a German countess.

German Shepherd Gunther VI wears a fake diamond necklace on the grounds of a home officially owned by pop star Madonna on Monday, November 15, 2021, in Miami. The house, which is currently owned by Gunther Corp., is up for sale again and the dog is being used in a publicity stunt to help promote the sale. Part of the stunt is a claim that the dog inherited a fortune, including the house, but the dog’s role seems like little more than a joke.

While the mansion is actually owned and sold by Gunther Corp., according to Miami-Dade County property records, the dog’s role appears to be little more than a decades-long joke.

And there is no evidence of a German countess.

The AP reported the story after receiving a press release from publicists representing real estate agents who had the list.

“The AP published a story that did not meet our standards and should not have been published. We did not exercise due diligence in the reporting process. We have corrected the story and we apologize, ”PA spokeswoman Lauren Easton said in a statement.

Mian told an Italian newspaper in 1995 that the countess “was just an invention to publicize the philosophy” of her foundation. Mian has claimed at other times that his confession about the Countess was the real hoax and that the dog stories were in fact real.

The story of selling a millionaire dog mansion turns out to be a long-standing ruse
German Shepherd Gunther VI chases a tennis ball thrown by handler Stacey Marino.

Mian’s money appears to come from his family’s Italian pharmaceutical company. Istituto Gentili, which developed a treatment for osteoporosis, a disease of weakened bones with the American pharmaceutical giant Merck, was acquired by Merck in 1997.

An Italian cell phone number listed for Mian was not answered on Tuesday.

Responding to questions from the AP on Tuesday about the veracity of the story, Monica Tirado, director of the Gunther group, said Carla Riccitelli, who described herself to the AP as Gunther’s manager, is “the ex -partner “of Mian.

Tirado said the company could not answer other questions, including the story of the German Countess, because “there is an exclusive deal with a Netflix production.” A request for comment from Netflix for details on a production was not returned.

This is just the latest in a series of stories about Gunther told by Mian.

In 1999, the Miami Herald reported that Gunther IV was trying to buy actor Sylvester Stallone a mansion. The next day, the Herald reported that it was just a publicity stunt.

“If you want to write that it’s a joke, you can write it down,” Mian told the Herald. “Ill do nothing.”

In Mian’s Dog Story, the Gunther is believed to be supported by a multi-million dollar trust created by German Countess Karlotta Liebenstein upon her death in 1992 to care for her dog, Gunther III, and offspring. The AP found no evidence of Liebenstein’s existence.

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