The thorniest issue seems to come from the source material, namely Maureen Orth's Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, which the family claims they did not authorize in the first place. "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", Versace explained in the email proclamation. "Instead, in her effort to create a sensational story, she presents second-hand hearsay that is full of contradictions".
Following Monday's premiere, the Versace family released a statement confirming members had no input in the project. Detailing exactly the who, what, when, and where of how Cunanan and Versace knew each other, Orth said, "There is no doubt in my mind that those two met".
"I made that phone call to her because when Ryan (Murphy) called me, I said to him, 'I have all the reasons to say yes to this, an unbelievable project, ' and I heard that he was going to do it with respect for the family - that was important for me", she explains to news show Extra.
The tragedy itself combined with the talented cast of The Assassination of Gianni Versace nearly certainly means that we're in for an intense ride with the show.
The second season of Ryan Murphy's anthology series, which premieres January 17, examines the death of the famed Italian fashion designer - but his family wants viewers to know that the series "should only be considered a work of fiction", adding that much of the story has been sensationalized and is based on "second-hand hearsay". Ryan Murphy, Nina Jacobson, Brad Simpson, Alexis Martin Woodall, Tom Rob Smith, Dan Minahan, Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski are Executive Producers of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
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.
"Vulgar Favors was acclaimed and embedded for nearly 20 years now so we stand behind Maureen and we stand behind the book", he said. "We're not making a documentary". "It's based on a very acclaimed nonfiction book called Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth that has been vetted for nearly two decades".
'She is a friend, she said she will treat me with respect - yes but I don't know what will be from a book that says incredible falsehoods, ' she said, speaking about the book which the series was partially based on.