The Versace family has slammed a new television series on the murder of fashion giant Gianni Versace, saying it was based on nothing more than "work of fiction". "The Assassination of Gianni Versace", based in part on Maureen Orth's book "Vulgar Favors", stars Edgar Ramirez as Versace, Darren Criss as Cunanan and Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace.
Vanity Fair was Andrew Cunanan's favorite magazine, so there's a certain synergy to Maureen Orth's engrossing and meticulously researched account of Cunanan's 1997 cross-country killing spree, which left celebrated designer Gianni Versace and four others dead before Cunanan took his own life.
Now artistic director and vice-president of the Milan-based Versace fashion group, Donatella said in an interview published by Italian daily la Repubblica on Wednesday that the series and a book it draws on contain gossip and contradictions.
In the second statement, the Versace family repeated its assertion that, due to their lack of involvement, the show should "only be considered as a work of fiction". When the neo-couture designer is shot in the face outside his Miami Beach mansion, perhaps five minutes into the show, one riff-raff-ista snaps a quick Polaroid of his dying body, then begins soliciting business at the top of his voice: "I have the only photo of Versace!". As the season has not yet aired, we can't say just how closely the show will adhere to the events as described in the book.
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"She admits it would have been illegal for the person to have reviewed the report in the first place (if it existed at all)", the statement reads. "Gianni Versace was a fearless and honest man, who engaged in humanitarian work for the benefit of others".
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres January 17 on FX. Versace is based on a non-fiction book by Maureen Orth that has been discussed and dissected and vetted for close to 20 years. "Of all the possible portrayals of his life and legacy, it is sad and reprehensible that the producers have chosen to present the distorted and bogus version created by Maureen Orth".
The Versace family at Gianni's funeral. "We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth", FX and Versace's production company, Fox 21, said in a statement per TV Guide.
Apparently, the family of Gianni Versace had no involvement in how The Assassination of Gianni Versace is going to unfold on FX, and so the series should be regarded as fiction by viewers.