For the first time since American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace was announced, the Versace family has released a statement addressing the accuracy of their portrayal. The show, which premieres January 17, retells the murder of designer Gianni Versace (Edgar Ramírez) by serial killer Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss), based on Maureen Orth's book Vulgar Favours: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S History. However, in a statement posted on Page Six, the family wants to clarify that they have played no part in the adaptation.
"The Versace family has neither authorised nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace," they said via the fashion house. "Since Versace did not authorise 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."
However, that doesn't mean the creators aren't taking the story seriously, or treating the situation with respect.
"I never had a situation with anything I shot like this," creator Ryan Murphy said recently at a screening. "The day we shot that the crew was crying, the actors were crying. It was very intense."
"I was hit extremely hard by it because unlike a lot of other recreations on television it was not done on a soundstage," Criss added. "Those were the stairs [of his actual house], that was the gate. It’s public access. You can walk right up to it. They have such weight, especially in the context of our story. Being dressed as Andrew was, being a beautiful Miami day."
American Crime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace premieres in the US on January 17 (UK date TBC).