Versace Family Slams Second Season of American Crime Story

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The Versace family has another bone to pick with "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story". The statement also refers to the show's portrayal of a "medical condition", and Entertainment Weeklyreports that they are referring to Orth's reporting that Versace was HIV-positive at the time of his death; that claim is reportedly depicted in the show, but the Versace family says her reporting "ignores contrary information" they provided.

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. In the summer of 1997, he attracted a high-profile manhunt as one of the FBI's 10 most-wanted fugitives before, eight days after Versace's death, he killed himself. It is written by Tom Rob Smith, and Ryan Murphy directed the premiere episode of the series, which stars Edgar Ramirez, Darren Criss, Ricky Martin and Penelope Cruz.

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.

Interestingly, the statement was quite clear that the Versace family was not connected to either the show's adaptation of events or the book upon which parts of the season will be based.

Penelope Cruz would not have taken on her new role as Donatella Versace without the fashion mogul's consent. Versace is based on a non-fiction book by Maureen Orth that has been discussed and dissected and vetted for close to 20 years.

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The family challenges in particular Orth's claim that Versace was HIV-positive. "Instead, in her effort to create a sensational story, she presents second-hand hearsay that is full of contradictions".

"She admits it would have been illegal for the person to have reviewed the report in the first place (if it existed at all)", the statement reads.

The series had to be considered "an act of fiction", it said, given it drew inspiration from a book that was not authorised - Maureen Orth's "Vulgar favours".

"Gianni Versace was a courageous and honest man, who engaged in humanitarian work for the benefit of others", stated the company. "The Versace family will issue no further comment on the matter".

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