Who is Maurizio Mian from Gunther's Millions?
The dog-handler has made headlines across the world for owning the world's richest canine – but what is his real story?
Warning: This article contains full spoilers for Gunther's Millions
After Tiger King premiered in 2020, it was difficult to imagine another animal-themed documentary landing on Netflix that was just as ridiculous and captivating as the Joe Exotic series – however, the streamer may have just outdone itself with Gunther's Millions.
The four-parter tells the story of Gunther, a German Shepherd who was reported to have inherited $400 million from his Countess owner after her death in 1992.
While the docuseries investigates the far-fetched story, it also shines a light on the man behind it all, Maurizio Mian, who became Gunther's handler and one of the people responsible for upholding the instructions of his trust.
From purchasing football teams and setting up controversial social experiments, the story behind Gunther is a lot more complicated than what's on the surface, but who is the CEO of The Gunther Corporation, Maurizio Mian?
Here's everything you need to know about Maurizio Mian, including where he is now.
Who is Maurizio Mian?
Maurizio Mian is the caretaker of Gunther VI, who he claimed to be the world's richest dog. Since 1992, the Italian entrepreneur has used his dog Gunther as a figurehead for his investments and ventures, claiming that the dog's great-grandfather, Gunther III, inherited $400 million from his original owner, Countess Karlotta Leibenstein.
In actual fact, the fortune came from Mian's mother, pharmaceutical entrepreneur Maria Gabriella Gentili, whose company, The Gentili Institute, developed a drug which was effective in treating bone disease before being sold to giant Merck.
While Mian claimed that the fortune had been transferred into German national Countess Leibenstein's name to avoid Italian taxes and subsequently placed in a trust for her dog Gunther, in the documentary he reveals that the Countess never actually existed. In truth, it was actually a friend of Gentili's who helped them with the tax loophole, while pictures of the Countess were actually of Mian's aunt.
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As for the dog, the original Gunther actually belonged to Mian's ex-girlfriend, Antonella Signorini.
However, Mian and Gunther regularly made headlines throughout the '90s and 2000s with the Countess's story, with Mian setting up The Gunther Corporation and claiming that the trust stipulated that the funds should always benefit Gunther or the corporation.
Through the corporation, Mian bought Madonna's Miami property in 2000 for $7.5 million and set up The Burgundians, a music group that lived in the house with Gunther and were studied by members of his team to look into the science of joy.
In 2006, he stood in the Italian general election as a candidate for the Rose in the Fist alliance, but was unsuccessful.
Mian also made several investments in sport through the Gunther fund, making Gunther the owner of Pisa Calcio and holding a controlling interest in U.S. Città di Pontedera, making porn star Ilona Staller, La Cicciolina, the face of the club.
He has two children – a son with his ex-partner Carla Riccitelli and a daughter with ex-partner Cristina Mian, who was raised by The Magnificent Five – one of Mian's experiments in which five people lived in a house together while observed by scientists researching happiness.
Where is Maurizio Mian now?
Mian was interviewed for Gunther's Millions, revealing that he hopes "the principles of what has been done in the past will be transmitted to others".
At the end of the documentary, Mian's ex-partner Carla says: "Maybe we'll finally be able to realise our dream of having our own island where animals can live in total freedom," with Mian replying: "I believe this animal can be the guide for many and show humans a more suitable way to live, closer to nature, closer to joy and happiness."
In November 2021, Mian and Gunther sold the house he bought from Madonna in 2000, putting it on the market for $31 million.
While we don't know much about his whereabouts at the moment, the Thoroughbred Daily News reported in June last year that he invested in a racing stable based in South Florida.
Gunther's Millions is available to stream on Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix. You can also visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide, or our Drama hub for all the latest news.
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