Versace family blasts TV series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story as 'work of fiction'
The Versace family has disowned upcoming TV series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
From executive producer Ryan Murphy, the FX show will explore the murder of designer Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in 1997, and is due to be released on the network on 17 January.
Edgar Ramirez appears as Gianni, Darren Criss plays Andrew, Penelope Cruz portrays Gianni's sister Donatella Versace and Ricky Martin stars as Gianni's boyfriend Antonio D'Amico, but the Versace family have now distanced themselves from the programme.
"The Versace family has neither authorised nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace," the family said in a statement released by representatives at the Italian fashion house on Monday. "Since Versace did not authorise the book on which it is partly based nor has it taken part in the writing of the screenplay, this TV series should only be considered as a work of fiction."
The TV show is based on Maureen Orth's 1999 book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History, which was also unauthorised by the Versace family.
Regarding the Versace family's criticism, TV executives responded that they stood by the events depicted in the show.
"Like the original American Crime Story series The People v. O. J. Simpson (released in 2016), 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 bestseller Vulgar Favors which examined the true-life crime spree of Andrew Cunanan. We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth," they said.
Gianni was shot and killed at the age of 50, on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion as he returned from a morning walk.
In November, Donatella confirmed she had spoken to Penelope about the show but did not intend on watching it.
"I spoke with Penelope," she told WWD. "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 (sic)."