Versace family calls TV drama unauthorized ‘work of fiction’

LOS ANGELES — The Versace family is distancing itself from an upcoming TV series about the 1997 murder of famed fashion designer Gianni Versace.

In a statement Monday, his family said it has neither authorized nor been involved in the series.

Since members of the family didn’t authorize the book from which it’s partly drawn or participate in the writing of the screenplay, the series should be considered “a work of fiction,” the statement said.

Gianni Versace was fatally shot in front of his Miami Beach mansion, a victim of serial killer Andrew Cunanan.

FX’s “American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace,” based in part on Maureen Orth’s book “Vulgar Favors,” stars Edgar Ramirez as Versace, Darren Criss as Cunanan and Penelope Cruz as Donatella Versace. It debuts Jan. 17.

In a joint statement, producers Fox 21 Television Studios and FX Productions defended Orth’s book about Cunanan’s crimes as “heavily researched and authenticated.”

“We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth,” the companies said.

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