Versace Family Wants 'American Crime Story' to Be Seen 'As a Work of Fiction'

The designer's family is calling the series "a work of fiction."

Gianni and Donatella Versace

Image via Getty/Rose Hartman

Gianni and Donatella Versace

Before the premiere of FX and Ryan Murphy’s American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace, the family of the legendary Italian designer has spoken out against the show, calling it a “work of fiction.”  

The show, slated to release Jan. 17, is a follow up to the series' debut The People v. O.J. Simpson. The first season garnered high ratings and positive criticism along with nine Emmys and two Golden Globes. The second season, however, appears to be off to a rocky start as the Versace family distances itself from the final product.

“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 their 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.”

According to Deadline, the book the show is based on, Maureen Orth’s Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, was also not approved by the family. The story centers around Versace’s 1997 murder by spree killer Andrew Cunanan. At the age of 50, the designer was shot in front of his mansion in Miami. Cunanan shot himself soon after.

In November, Donatella Versace, Gianni’s brother and the fashion house's executive, told WWD that she doesn’t intent to watch the series, despite there being no legal action being taken against FX or the American Crime Story creators. In the season, Donatella is played by Penélope Cruz. “I spoke with Penélope,” Donatella said. “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.”

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