The Versace family has remained mum on their feelings about the upcoming FX mini-series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story… until now.
“The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace,” said the fashion house 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.”
20th Century Fox and FX responded with their own statement defending the series: “Like the original American Crime Story series The People vs O.J. 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.”
Versace, which premieres Jan. 17, opens with the murder of the designer, played by Edgar Ramirez, by Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) in 1997 but also explores Gianni’s relationship with sister Donatella (Penelope Cruz) and longtime partner Antonio D’Amico (Ricky Martin).
While the Versace family has not been involved in the mini-series, Cruz admitted to EW in May that she did speak to Donatella before she took on the role. “I did have one conversation that was very important for me and that was between she and I,” said Cruz. “I don’t want to say the details but it was a long conversation. I needed a conversation with Ryan [Murphy] and then a conversation with her. That was very important to me. I think she knows that the way I’m playing her that I truly love her and respect her.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story will premiere on FX on Jan. 17 at 10 p.m.