‘This TV series must be considered a work of fiction’
It’s already been criticised by his former boyfriend, but now Gianni Versace’s family have spoken out about the upcoming instalment of American Crime Story which will be based on the life of the late designer.
The fashion house released a public statement explaining that they had not been involved in the book or script. “The Versace family has not authorised nor has it in any way been involved in the TV series dedicated to the death of Gianni Versace,” it read. “Since Versace has not authorised the book from which it is partially drawn and has not taken part in writing the script, this TV series must be considered a work of fiction.”
Ryan Murphy’s next instalment of American Crime Story is based on the life of the late fashion designer, who was shot outside his Miami Beach Mansion in 1997. His assailant, serial killer Andrew Cunanan, committed suicide a week after Gianni’s murder, just as the police were getting close to arresting him.
The series is based partially on the 1999 book Vulgar Favours by Vanity Fair veteran Maureen Orth, written two years after Versace’s death. Similar to the series, the Versace family had distanced itself from the book previously, at the time of its release.
While no legal action has been taken against FX or the show, Donatella Versace, Gianni’s sister and current vice president of the Versace Group, said that she had no intention of watching the series despite being long-time friends with actress Penelope Cruz, who portrays her in the show.
“I spoke with Penélope, she is a friend, she said she will treat me with respect — yes, but I don’t know what will be (shown), from a book that says incredible falsehoods,” she said.
However, FX defended Murphy’s work yesterday, releasing a statement: “Like the original American Crime Story series The People Vs OJ Simpson, which was based on Jeffrey Toobin’s non-fiction bestseller The Run of His Life, FX’s follow-up The Assassination Of Gianni Versace is based on Maureen Orth’s heavily researched and authenticated non-fiction best seller Vulgar Favors which examined the true life crime spree of Andrew Cunanan. We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth.”
Antonio D’Amico, the model, muse and boyfriend of Versace for 15 years, previously detailed the missed details he noticed in the promotional images for the show. “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.”