8:55am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Versace Family Blasts 'American Crime Story': FX Drama a "Work of Fiction"
Less than 10 days before its premiere, the Versace family wants potential viewers to know that the forthcoming season of FX's American Crime Story, which examines the slaying of Gianni Versace, was not done with its blessing.
"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 Monday 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."
Ryan Murphy's follow-up to the Emmy-winning The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story pulls from Vanity Fair writer Maureen Orth's book about the murder, Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History. Season two explores Cunanan's (Glee grad Darren Criss) mind and covers the events leading up to Versace's death. The season will touch on the four other slayings, as well as Cunanan's life in the San Diego gay community, the homophobia present in the culture at the time and even the Don't Ask, Don't Tell military policy of the 1990s.
Edgar Ramirez stars as Versace, while Penelope Cruz portrays his sister Donatella and Ricky Martin plays his longtime partner Antonio D'Amico.
FX and producers Fox 21 responded Monday afternoon to the Versace family with a statement of its own: “Like the original American Crime Story series The People vs. O.J. Simpson, which was based on Jeffrey Toobin's nonfiction 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 nonfiction best-seller Vulgar Favors, which examined the true-life crime spree of Andrew Cunanan. We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth.”
That the Versace family would not support the second season of American Crime Story comes as little surprise. Costume designer (and frequent Murphy collaborator) Lou Eyrich did not receive any support from the Versace family in designing the attire for the season. Instead, Eyrich and her team bought hundreds of vintage Versace from dealers around the world.
Versace is set to premiere Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 10 p.m. ET/PT on FX.
Jan. 8, 1:07 p.m. Updated to include FX's response.