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Antonio D’Amico, the boyfriend of the late Gianni Versace, is speaking out about Ryan Murphy’s upcoming TV take on the 1997 murder of the famed Italian fashion designer.
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story — the second installment in the FX anthology series, following the Emmy-winning The People V. O.J. Simpson — stars Darren Criss, Edgar Ramirez, Penelope Cruz and Ricky Martin, and is set to air in 2018.
The season, based on Maureen Orth’s book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, will explore the assassination of Versace (played by Ramirez). His murderer, Andrew Cunanan (Criss), committed suicide eight days later as police were on the verge of capturing the serial killer in a massive manhunt. Cruz stars as Donatella Versace, the sister of the slain fashion designer, and Martin portrays D’Amico.
“There has been so much written and said about the murder, and thousands of suppositions, but not a trace of reality,” D’Amico told the Observer in a recent interview after photos from the series leaked online. D’Amico, who was Versace’s boyfriend of 15 years and was the one who found his body on the front steps of Versace’s Miami mansion, said he has not been consulted for the FX series. “The picture of Ricky Martin holding the body in his arms is ridiculous. Maybe it’s the director’s poetic license, but that is not how I reacted.”
D’Amico was in the pair’s Ocean Drive home when he heard the shots July 15, 1997.
“I felt as if my blood had turned to ice,” he says in the interview. “The house had stained-glass windows so we couldn’t see what had happened from inside, so we had to open the gate. I saw Gianni lying on the steps, with blood around him. At that point, everything went dark. I was pulled away, I didn’t see any more.”
About the conspiracy theories, speculation and stories that have continued to explore the murder, including the FX series, D’Amico said: “So much has been fictionalized. Unfortunately Gianni died, unfortunately this guy killed him, unfortunately it happened: but now, let it drop.” He shot down one theory in the process, saying Versace and his murderer “never knew each other” previously.
D’Amico added that Versace never tried to hide his sexuality and detailed how he fell into a “nightmare” of depression after his death. He also welcomed Martin to reach out to him about the portrayal.
“It’s getting to know the small things about a relationship,” he said. “For example, Gianni was so ordered and focused at work but in his private life everything was disorganized. He’d leave the bathroom in a mess. At a certain point I said, ‘Enough!’ And when it came to cooking, he didn’t even know how to [boil] an egg.”
Murphy’s Versace is set to be followed by American Crime Story: Katrina, but the series has been stalled with production set to begin early next year. Versace began production in April and Katrina is set to be followed by a fourth cycle of the anthology series that will explore the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
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