In some people’s eyes, not only did Amanda Rodrigues get away with murder, but she also profited from it after being awarded the remainder of her ex-husband Arturo Gatti’s estate. Rodrigues was handed an inheritance of $3.4 million on Dec. 16 by a Quebec Superior Court Justice named Claudine Roy when she awarded her the inheritance of the ex world champion boxer’s fortune.
Gatti’s family and friends believe Rodrigues was responsible for his death in the summer of 2009 when he was found on the floor of the couples’ rented apartment while on their second honeymoon in Brazil. Rodrigues was originally arrested as the main suspect in his murder, but Brazilian authorities released her after three weeks when they said Gatti committed suicide by hanging himself.
However, Gatti’s family said Rodrigues was a gold-digger and convinced Gatti to change his will just before he died, leaving everything to her. The family said Gatti’s original will from 2007 should be enforced, but they didn’t have a copy of it. The judge said there wasn’t any evidence that Rodrigues manipulated Gatti into changing his will though and said the most recent version will be honored.
Gatti’s younger brother and mother, who believe Rodrigues killed Gatti after he changed his will, took the case to court and fought to have the 2007 will enforced since it left the state to them and his daughter from a previous marriage. The judge said she realized Gatti and Rodrigues shared a rocky relationship, but they were still a couple since they appeared to make up after each argument. She said the fights were often violent and serious, but the couple always reconciled afterwards and were together at the time of Gatti’s death.
The pair met in 2006 in New Jersey when Gatti was 33 and Rodrigues was just 19 years old. They married the next year and had a baby son, but the relationship was anything but steady. The court heard that Gatti often stayed out all hours of the night drinking and Rodrigues would retaliate by hitting him, screaming, throwing things, and scratching his car with a key.
Pat Lynch, Gatti’s former manager, paid to have a private investigation carried out after the death and they came to the conclusion that the boxer was murdered. But coroners in both Brazil and Canada stated that there isn’t enough evidence to prove it. They admitted that he died violently and it’s possible he was killed, but impossible to prove.
While Judge Roy upheld the 2009 will, Rodrigues still faces more court battles since Gatti’s former wife Erika Rivera has filed a wrongful-death suit against her in New Jersey. In addition, a man in Florida is suing the estate for $5 million after claiming that Gatti punched him in the face.
Gatti had a daughter named Sophia with Rivera, and while they didn’t receive anything in the will, Gatti set up a $125,000 education fund for his daughter in 2007 along with a $1-million trust fund and a share of a house worth $250,000.
Rivera is eligible to withdraw funds from the trust fund each month for support. Rivera was also a co-plaintiff in the recent case in Canada as she wanted to block Rodrigues and her son from receiving any financial payment whatsoever.
Gatti was born in Italy, raised in Montreal, and then moved to New Jersey. He was 37 years old when he died. He turned pro in 1991 and won the IBF Super Featherweight and WBC Light Welterweight Championship before retiring in 2007. His pro record was 40-9, with 31 KOs.