UPDATED: Ahead of the premiere of “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” the family of the legendary fashion designer has finally broken their silence on the show.
“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 via the fashion house. “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 second season of executive producer Ryan Murphy’s critically-acclaimed anthology series will explore the death of Versace at the hands of Andrew Cunanan in 1997. Edgar Ramirez will play Versace, while Darren Criss will play Cunanan. It is based in part on Maureen Orth’s 1999 book “Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in US History.”
Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions, which produce the show, responded with their own statement. It reads:
“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.”
On Jan. 11, Random House, which published Orth’s book, issued their own statement in support of the the author and her work.
“First published almost 19 years ago, ‘Vulgar Favors’ is a carefully reported and extensively-sourced work of investigative journalism by an award-winning journalist with impeccable credentials. The book has stood the test of time and is widely regarded as the definitive account of Andrew Cunanan’s chilling crime spree. Random House stands by the book and its author, Maureen Orth.”