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Lady Gaga to play Donatella Versace in American Crime Story

The third season of the show will see Gaga in the role of the Italian fashion designer, as the series traces Gianni Versace's murder by serial killer Andrew Cunanan

Lady Gaga will portray Donatella Versace in the third season of American Crime Story, which will unpack the murder of fashion designer and Donatella’s brother Gianni Versace.

The first season of Ryan Murphy’s anthology series dramatised the O.J. Simpson case for the People v. O.J., and work has been underway for its second instalment about Hurricane Katrina (Katrina).

Versace/Cunanan is set to be a 10-episode depiction of the events of 15 July 1997, based on Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favors, when the Italian fashion designer was shot dead on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who shot himself eight days later. Cunanan murdered five people over the course of three months, and his motives for killing Versace are still unknown.

It’s Gaga’s first appearance on American Crime Story, though she’s had a major role in Ryan Murphy’s other anthology series, American Horror Story: Hotel, and appeared in the most recent Roanoke instalment.

Rumours had been swirling since the show's initial announcement that an A-lister was set to play Gianni's sister Donatella. When it was suggested at a panel discussion at LA’s Popfest in October that Gaga would make “the perfect Donatella”, Ryan Murphy responded: “You think?”

Gaga and the Italian designer have a strong working and personal relationship. The pair walked the most recent Met Gala’s carpet together, and the Joanne singer fronted Versace’s Spring 2014 campaign. On her 2013 album Artpop, Gaga shows her love for the designer with track “Donatella”.

It’s expected to begin production early next year, as filming starts on the show’s second season.