Ryan Murphy's take on the murder of designer Gianni Versace won't be getting the seal of approval from the fashion brand

By Stephanie Petit
Updated January 10, 2018 12:58 PM
Credit: Pari Dukovic/FX

Ryan Murphy’s take on the murder of designer Gianni Versace won’t be getting the fashion brand’s seal of approval.

As Versace: American Crime Story‘s premiere date of Jan. 17 nears, the family has denounced the FX adaptation.

“The Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace,” the brand says in a statement to PEOPLE. “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 show focuses on the final days and murder of the Italian fashion designer and explores the sadistic mind of his killer Andrew Cunanan, a 27-year-old serial killer who also murdered Chicago tycoon Lee Miglin and at least three others before committing suicide.

The cast includes Édgar Ramirez as Versace, Darren Criss as Cunanan, Ricky Martin as Versace’s lover Antonio D’Amico and Penélope Cruz as the designer’s sister Donatella Versace.

The highly-anticipated series was filmed in Miami, where Versace was killed on the steps of his South Beach mansion in 1997.

D’Amico, who said he was not consulted for the series, previously spoke out against the award-winning series’ take on the murder. Heslammed images from production, saying the shot did not resemble the real scene when he discovered Versace’s body.

“The picture of Ricky Martin holding the body in his arms is ridiculous,” D’Amico told The Observer on Sunday. “Maybe it’s the director’s poetic license, but that is not how I reacted.”

Although D’Amico has no plans to watch American Crime Story, he would happily speak with Martin about his late boyfriend.

“It’s getting to know the small things about a relationship,” he explained. “For example, Gianni was so ordered and focused at work but in his private life everything was disorganized. He’d leave the bathroom in a mess. At a certain point I said ‘enough’! And when it came to cooking, he didn’t even know how to [boil] an egg.”

On Wednesday, the label released a second statement condemning the series:

“As we have said, the Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace, which should only be considered as a work of fiction. The company producing the series claims it is relying on a book by Maureen Orth, but the Orth book itself is full of gossip and speculation. Orth never received any information from the Versace family and she has no basis to make claims about the intimate personal life of Gianni Versace or other family members. Instead, in her effort to create a sensational story, she presents second-hand hearsay that is full of contradictions.
As just one example, Orth makes assertions about Gianni Versace’s medical condition based on a person who claims he reviewed a post-mortem test result, but she admits it would have been illegal for the person to have reviewed the report in the first place (if it existed at all). In making her lurid claims, she ignores contrary information provided by members of Mr. Versace’s family, who lived and worked closely with him and were in the best position to know the facts of his life.”

“Gianni Versace was a brave and honest man, who engaged in humanitarian work for the benefit of others. Of all the possible portrayals of his life and legacy, it is sad and reprehensible that the producers have chosen to present the distorted and bogus version created by Maureen Orth.”

“The Versace family will issue no further comment on the matter.”

The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres Jan. 17 on FX.