The third season of American Crime Story will centre on the designer’s 1997 death, but Antonio D’Amico has called elements of the drama ‘ridiculous’
Antonio D’Amico, the model, muse and boyfriend of Gianni Versace for 15 years, has come forward to express discontent with the upcoming TV series exploring the designer’s 1997 murder.
Across decades, the shocking death of Versace – shot by Andrew Cunanan, a 27-year-old who had already killed four people across three months prior – was heavily chronicled throughout international news, books and documentaries. Anthology series American Crime Story’s Versace instalment, said to be based on Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace and the Largest Failed Manhunt in the Us History by Maureen Orth, is set to start filming next year.
Speaking to the Observer, D’Amico said: “There has been so much written and said about the murder, and thousands of suppositions, but not a trace of reality.”
It was confirmed earlier this year that Ricky Martin would play the role of D’Amico, with Penelope Cruz as Versace’s sister Donatella. D’Amico however has claimed he was not consulted for the series, and that images of the show are far from the reality.
“The picture of Ricky Martin holding the body in his arms is ridiculous,” he said, telling the Observer he thought it resembled Michelangelo’s Pietà, where the Virgin Mary cradles the body of Jesus after the crucifixion. “Maybe it’s the director’s poetic licence, but that is not how I reacted.”
The Italian designer was 50-years-old when he was shot as he returned to his Ocean Drive home. D’Amico recalled hearing the gunshot as he drank coffee on their veranda. He detailed how he felt his “blood turn to ice”, before he went to investigate with their butler. They found Versace lying on the steps, surrounded by a pool of blood.
After a huge manhunt, Cunanan was found eight days later in a Miami houseboat – he had shot himself with the same gun used in the murder. A lot of speculation surrounds the murder, including links to the Mafia and rumours that Versace knew his assassin, but D’Amico calls this all “fictionalised”.
In the interview, D’Amico detailed his spiral into depression, and tension with the Versace family over the will. He was able to find love again and currently lives with his partner in northern Italy, and recently launched a sportswear range for golfers.
In June last year, Ricky Martin outlined a scene of his with Edgar Ramirez, who plays Gianni: the pair walk along the beach, and as he reaches out to his boyfriend, Versace says: “Don’t touch me! The paparazzi!”
D’Amico asserts Versace was never afraid to show signs of affection or his sexuality, as one of the first prominent celebrities to come out in the 80s.
“We lived like a natural couple, there was never a problem,” he explained. “It was the right moment for him to come out in public, but everyone involved in our world knew. He never tried to hide who he was.”
Though he won’t be watching the show, he said he would gladly give Martin insight into his life with Versace. He said: “It’s getting to know the small things about a relationship… for example, Gianni was so ordered and focused at work but in his private life everything was disorganised. He’d leave the bathroom in a mess. At a certain point I said ‘enough’! And when it came to cooking, he didn’t even know how to (boil) an egg.”
Last month, the real Donatella Versace dedicated her recent SS18 menswear show to her brother: she showcased the collection in the gardens of Palazzo Versace in Milan to mark the 20th anniversary since his death.