Gianni Micalusi was arrested with his two sons, his bank manager and accountant and is accused by Rome prosecutors of laundering nearly €900,000 in cash from “illegal activities”. He was remanded in custody.
Micalusi, a rotund 52-year-old former fisherman, has turned his original Assunta Madre in Rome – named after his boat – into a celebrity hot-spot, with photos of Elton John, Tim Roth, Sylvester Stallone, Morgan Freeman and Robert de Niro adorning its walls.
The three-year-old Mayfair branch, which boasts daily deliveries of the freshest fish, is no slouch in the celebrity stakes, with particular pulling power in the worlds of football and motor racing. Roman Abramovic, the reclusive owner of Chelsea FC, is photographed on its website, along with players Didier Drogba, Cesc Fabregas and Branislav Ivanovic. Formula 1 bosses Bernie Eccleston, Flavio Briatore and Ron Dennis also feature.
The 2017 Harden’s Survey gives the restaurant a general thumbs-up for its seafood, while bemoaning its “ridiculous” prices. Assunta Madre opened a branch in Milan in 2015, with Monte Carlo due to follow at the time of Micalusi’s arrest.