January 9, 2018 at 2:00 pm EDT | by Mariah Cooper
Gianni Versace’s family calls FX series ‘fiction,’ network responds

(Screenshot via YouTube.)

Family members of the late Gianni Versace have slammed FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” the “American Crime Story” installment about the fashion designer’s murder, calling it a “work of fiction” and claiming they had no involvement in the making of the series.

“The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace,” the family said in a statement. “Since Versace did not authorize 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 series draws from “Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History” by Maureen Orth. Edgar Ramirez stars as Versace alongside Ricky Martin who portrays Antonio D’Amico and Penelope Cruz who plays Donatella Versace. Darren Criss plays Cunanan, who would eventually murder Versace. The series explores Cunanan’s mindset leading up to Versace’s murder as well as the homophobic culture they were immersed in at the time.

FX released a statement in response to the Versace family saying that the series is based on Orth’s book which is believed to be authenticated despite not having input from Versace’s family.

“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,” FX said in a statement.

Series creator Ryan Murphy also released a statement to Variety backing up the authenticity of Orth’s book in relation to the series.

“We issued a statement saying that this story is based on Maureen Orth’s book, which is a very celebrated, lauded work of non-fiction that was vetted now for close to 20 years,” Murphy told Variety. “That’s really all I have to say about it, other than of course I feel if you’re family is ever portrayed in something, it’s natural to sort of have a ‘Well, let’s wait and see what happens’ [stance].”

Murphy told Vanity Fair that Donatella has also been somewhat involved in the making of the series. He says the late fashion designer’s sister had concerns about the portrayal of her children Allegra and Daniel that she has with ex-husband Paul Beck.

“I listened to that. As a father, I understood. I wasn’t interested in going there, out of respect for her,” Murphy says.

The showrunner also claims Donatella sent Cruz flowers for her presentation at the Golden Globes on Sunday.

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace” airs on Wednesday, Jan. 17 at 10 p.m. on FX.

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