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Crime News

Versace Family Slams New Season Of 'American Crime Story,' Calls It 'A Work Of Fiction'

“The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series," reads a statement.

By Eric Shorey

Ryan Murphy's critically acclaimed anthology series "American Crime Story" is set to explore the many facets of the murder of Gianni Versace. After receiving numerous awards for "The People V. O. J. Simpson," expectations are high for the upcoming program.

Members of the Versace family, however, have issued a public statement disavowing the show, proclaiming many (if not all) of the events depicted are fictitious.

“The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace. 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," reads the family's statement.

Gianni Versace, a legendary fashion designer, was killed at his Miami home on July 15, 1997. The murder, which was executed by a serial killer named Andrew Cunanan, sparked international intrigue. Cunanan killed himself days after taking Versace's life. In the wake of the killing, Gianni's sister, Donatella Versace, became the head of the brand.

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Ryan Murphy's show will dramatize the events leading up to the murder. Starring Penélope Cruz as Donatella Versace, Édgar Ramírez as Gianni Versace and Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, the mini-series is loosely based on the unauthorized book "Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U. S. History" by Maureen Orth.

FX Productions has since responded to the statement from the Versace 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."

Donatella has previously spoken of the series and expressed her reservations.

“I spoke with Penélope,” she said, explaining that she had no intention of watching the show. “She is a friend, she said she will treat me with respect — yes, but I don’t know what will be [shown], from a book that says incredible falsehoods.”

"The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" will debut on FX on January 17.

[Photo: FX]