Family slams TV series on Versace murder

Versace family upset over Ryan Murphy’s new show

The Versace family has been in a war of words with FX and Ryan Murphy over the upcoming show, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.

Ryan Murphy also defended the FX series at the show's premiere, according to Harper's Bazaar, although he acknowledged that the Versace family was "in a really interesting, hard situation".

Vanity Fair was Andrew Cunanan's favorite magazine, so there's a certain synergy to Maureen Orth's engrossing and meticulously researched account of Cunanan's 1997 cross-country killing spree, which left celebrated designer Gianni Versace and four others dead before Cunanan took his own life.

The nine-part series, made by 21st Century Fox and premiering next week, stars Spanish actress Penelope Cruz and Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin.

The thorniest issue seems to come from the source material, namely Maureen Orth's Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, which the family claims they did not authorize in the first place.

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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.

"I had a lot of months of preparation.", she admits. "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 challenges in particular Orth's claim that Versace was HIV-positive. "We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth", they said. "In making her lurid claims, she ignores contrary information provided by members of Mr. Versace's family, who lived and worked closely with him and were in the best position to know the facts of his life". They also added that they did not have any involvement in the Orth book which the series is based on so by default, the family states that both the book and the series are works of fiction. "Gianni Versace was a fearless and honest man, who engaged in humanitarian work for the benefit of others".

"On Sunday, Donatella Versace very graciously sent Penelope Cruz a lovely and huge flower arrangement saying good luck because Penelope was at the Golden Globes representing our show." he said.

The statement concludes by praising the fashion designer while further insisting that American Crime Story does not have the family's blessing.

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