Episode 8 of American Crime Story, "Creator/Destroyer," might just be the best of the season. Rather than following Andrew Cunanan (Darren Criss) on another one of his murders, the story takes a look back at the killer's upbringing. Specifically, it focused on the relationship between Cunanan and his father, Modesto Cunanan. Much of what we've heard so far this season about his father, who also goes by Pete, has been a lie. This episode aims to set that all straight, but it also touches on a topic that hasn't been confirmed. While Modesto Cunanan had been accused of being physically abusive by wife Mary Ann (and, although it was a huge part of tonight's episode, he has reportedly denied it), there don't seem to be any accusations that he was sexually abusive to Andrew. However, tonight's episode included a moment that definitely seemed to suggest just that.
In multiple scenes, Cunanan and his father are shown going to bed together, and in one, Modesto Cunanan tells Andrew to stay quiet as he reaches for him offscreen. Then things go dark.
According to the Washington Post, an unconfirmed report from Chicago hints that Cunanan was abused, but not explicitly by his dad. The report points to a call made by "Andrew DeSilva" to a hotline for victims of abuse by Catholic priests. DeSilva was one of Cunanan's aliases, and Cunanan was raised Catholic and was buried in a catholic cemetery, although the school he attended, Bishop's School, was Episcopalian.
Versace's own family has said that the show is a work of fiction, and it's possible this element is another instance of poetic license. There's certainly no evidence that the real Cunanan was ever abused by his father, but tonight's episode made clear there were plenty of other traumas that made up Cuanana's complex puzzle.
If you have experienced sexual violence of any kind, please visit Rape Crisis or call 0808 802 9999.
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