Versace's Murder Highlighted in Season Two of American Crime Story

The Assassination of Gianni Versace American Crime Story

'American Crime Story' on Gianni Versace Is Based on 'Bogus' Book, Says Designer's Family

The second season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series, which premieres January 17, examines the death of the famed Italian fashion designer - but his family wants viewers to know that the series "should only be considered a work of fiction", adding that much of the story has been sensationalized and is based on "second-hand hearsay". And while the title name-checks Versace, the show itself-following Orth's lead-is more focused on the mentality of his assassin: serial killer Andrew Cunanan, played by Glee alum Darren Criss.

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The family statement continued that because no one in the family authorized the book from which the series if partly drawn, or participated in the writing of the screenplay, the series should be considered 'a work of fiction'. Edgar Ramirez stars as Gianni Versace himself, with Penelope Cruz as his sister Donatella.

"Now I just hope that all the love that I put into that performance - I do love her and all the people that work with her - and respect and admiration, all of that is there, I hope she will see that", the actress shares. The Versace family are not happy: on Monday, they broke their silence, declaring the nine-episode series to be "a work of fiction".

"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 bestseller Vulgar Favors, which examined the true-life crime spree of Andrew Cunanan", it said.

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In the book, Orth claims to have information on a medical condition that Gianni was afflicted with, which she found out about from a person who allegedly reviewed his post-mortem test results. Orth, who has worked for Vanity Fair since 1988, "never received any information from the Versace family" and instead presented "second-hand hearsay that is full of contradictions" to create a "lurid" and "sensational" story.

"Gianni Versace was a courageous and honest man, who engaged in humanitarian work for the benefit of others", the statement reads. "Of all the possible portrayals of his life and legacy, it is sad and reprehensible that the producers have chosen to present the distorted and bogus version created by Maureen Orth".

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There was also speculation that Versace may have met his killer years earlier, though family members and the designer's then-boyfriend Antonio D'Amico deny that. We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms Orth. "It's based on a very acclaimed nonfiction book called Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth that has been vetted for nearly two decades".

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