Stefano Gabbana, Domenico Dolce


"How do you spell 'Gabbana?'" I-N-N-O-C-E-N-T.

Designers Stefano Gabbana, 51, and Domenico Dolce, 56, founders of the high-end Italian fashion label Dolce & Gabbana, a celebrity favorite, were found not guilty of tax evasion on Friday by Italy's highest court, which overturned two past sentences by lower courts. Prior to today's ruling, the two had been each sentenced to 18 months in jail in April over the case, in which they were accused of hiding hundreds of millions of Euros from tax authorities. They had maintained their innocence.

"We knew it!!! We are honest people!" Gabbana tweeted in Italian.

The news was also shared on the official Dolce & Gabbana Twitter page, along with a joint statement that read, "We have always been honest and we are extremely proud of this recognition by the Italian Court of Justice. Viva L'Italia." Gabbana shared news stories and scores of congratulatory retweets by fans.

The Italian government began investigating the duo almost seven years ago as part of a larger push to quell tax evasion nationwide. In June 2013, they were convicted on charges of failing to pay taxes on proceeds of hundreds of millions of Euros and were given a suspended sentence of 20 months in jail. Dolce and Gabbana appealed and a court upheld the verdict this past April, reducing the sentence to 18 months due to a statute of limitations.

"I am very satisfied," Women's Wear Daily quoted Dolce & Gabbana's lawyer, Massimo Dinoia, as saying said after Friday's verdict. "We have been saying that they were innocent for the past seven years. Nobody can take back the negative publicity they received over these seven years, but we knew we were in the right all along."

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