Edgar Ramirez and Ryan Murphy have defended TV series The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story after the Versace family deemed it a “work of fiction”.
The upcoming FX show will explore the murder of Gianni Versace by serial killer Andrew Cunanan in 1997, with the narrative based on Maureen Orth’s 1999 book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, with Edgar portraying the Italian designer and Ryan executive producing.
On Monday (07Jan18), the Versace family distanced themselves from the program, describing it as unauthorized, but Edgar is standing by the content.
“We all feel the utmost respect for the Versace family,” he told Entertainment Tonight at the Los Angeles premiere. “We all tried to be as respectful and compassionate as possible walking into the show.”
The series features an ensemble cast, including Ricky Martin as Gianni’s boyfriend Antonio D’Amico, and Penelope Cruz playing the designer’s sister Donatella Versace, as well as Darren Criss, Max Greenfield and Dascha Polanco. Accordingly, Ryan is adamant that Penelope would not have taken on the part if the story didn’t check out.
“Vulgar Favors was acclaimed and embedded for almost 20 years now so we stand behind Maureen and we stand behind the book,” he said. “Penelope never would have taken on this role if in any way if Donatella or anyone in the family was sort of portrayed in a negative light.”
Following Monday’s premiere, the Versace family released a statement confirming members had no input in the project.
“The Versace family has neither authorised nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace,” their memo reads. “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.”
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is due to be released on 17 January (18).