Famed fashion house Versace is distancing itself from the upcoming “American Crime Story” season “The Assassination of Gianni Versace”.
In a statement to ET Canada, Versace clarified Monday that the new series, which purports to tell the story of the murder of Gianni Versace by killer Andrew Cunanan in 1997, is “unauthorized” and that the series should be looked at as “a work of fiction.”
“The Versace family has not authorized nor has it in any way been involved in the TV series dedicated to the death of Gianni Versace,” the statement said. “Since Versace has not authorized the book from which it is partially drawn and has not taken part in writing the script, this TV series must be considered a work of fiction.”
According to WWD, the book referred to in the statement is Vulgar Favors, written by Vanity Fair‘s Maureen Orth in 1999.
The New York Times Style reporter Matthew Schneier also noted on Twitter that series star Penelope Cruz has had a longtime relationship with Versace for her red carpet looks.
Speaking to WWD in November, Donatella Versace said of whether she plans to watch the series, “I spoke with Penelope, 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 Ryan Murphy-created series follows 2016’s “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” and stars Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace, Cruz as sister Donatella Versace, Ricky Martin as Gianni’s boyfriend Antonio D’Amico and Darren Criss as Cunanan.
On Monday, FX responded to Versace’s statement with a statement of its own, stating that the network stands behind its depiction of events.
“Like the original ‘American Crime Story’ series ‘The People vs. OJ 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.”
“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” premieres Jan. 17.