The latest 'American Crime Story' takes on 'The Assassination of Gianni Versace'

Martin and Ramirez as D’Amico and Versace in happier times

Martin and Ramirez as D’Amico and Versace in happier times

The Versace family has slammed a new television series on the murder of fashion giant Gianni Versace, saying it was based on nothing more than "work of fiction".

Gianni Versace was fatally shot in front of his Miami Beach mansion, a victim of serial killer Andrew Cunanan. He committed suicide days after slaying Versace.

"Like the original American Crime Story series The People vs. O.J. 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".

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"It saddens (us) to see that among all possible portraits of (Gianni's) life and story, the producers chose to present the false and distorted version created by Maureen Orth", it added.

On Monday (08Jan18), members of the Versace family released a statement claiming the programme was unauthorised, and distanced themselves from the project once again on Wednesday. "The company producing the series claims it is relying on a book by Maureen Orth, but the Orth book itself is full of gossip and speculation", the family wrote.

In particular, the Versace family contends that the writer "makes assertions" about the late designer's medical condition "based on a person who claims he reviewed a post-mortem test result, but she admits it would have been illegal for the person to have reviewed the report in the first place (if it existed at all)". "Gianni Versace was a fearless and honest man, who engaged in humanitarian work for the benefit of others. 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".

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The 52-year-old writers comments come after the Versace family issued a statement criticising FXs new mini-series, which explores the assassination of the renowned Italian designer. FX released a statement saying they "stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth", and Murphy said the book "has been vetted for nearly two decades".

The show's executive producer Brad Simpson also responded to the statement saying that the series was indeed not authorized and that they did not make any pretense at it being authorized. "It was one hour where we spoke about a lot of things, about things that she told me about her life and she also said, 'If somebody is going to play me, I am very happy that it is you, ' and for me, if I wouldn't have heard those words, I wouldn't have done it".

Celebrities attend FX's "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" Premiere at ArcLight Hollywood.

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