Slain former boxer Arturo Gatti’s sister Anna-Maria Gatti said it was her brother’s wife, Amanda Rodrigues – she has now been charged with first-degree murder and rumored to have confessed – who called her to say Arturo was dead. Gatti said Rodrigues seemed “cold” when she told her the news. The Gatti family, who are obviously devastated, have taken steps to adopt Arturo’s 10-month-old son.
In an interview Monday with Quebec’s LCN news channel, Anna-Maria Gatti said it was Rodrigues herself who phoned her to tell her the news.
“She phoned me saying, ‘Something serious happened. Your brother is dead.’ She seemed very cold when she told me that. I thought it was a joke.”
Arturo Gatti and his wife were staying in Brazil and were expected to join Anna-Maria in Florida for her wedding. But the weekend celebration quickly turned to tragedy after the family learned of Arturo’s death.
After being questioned by local authorities, Rodrigues, who is a Brazilian citizen and the primary suspect in the case, will face charges of murder. The preliminary investigation is working on the theory that she strangled the boxer with her purse strap while he slept.
Although it was no secret the couple’s relationship was strained to the breaking point, and that Rodrigues had accused Gatti of domestic violence, Gatti’s sister said Rodrigues was purely exploiting her husband.
“She only talked about money. She used my brother for money,” Anna-Maria Gatti repeated in the interview. She had a hard time explaining how her brother’s relationship had survived despite the couple’s serious difficulties. “When you don’t get along, you leave one another,” she said.
An emotional Anna-Maria Gatti explained that she and her family still have a hard time believing their champion is gone. “We cry a lot, but there’s nothing we can do.”
She also said the family has taken steps to adopt the couple’s son, Arturo Jr. “For the time being, it’s the Brazilian authorities who are taking care of him,” she said.
Hopefully the Gatti family will be able to gain custody of the baby. It’s tragic that his mother decided to take his father’s life (allegedly) thus taking herself away from her baby.