Ryan Murphy Defends 'Versace: American Crime Story', Insists 'It Is Not a Work of Fiction'

'The Versace family has said it's a work of fiction--it is not a work of fiction,' said the series creator, responding to the previously-released official statement by the family of the fashion icon.

AceShowbiz - "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" creator Ryan Murphy has broken his silence on the official statement from the Versace family which denounced the upcoming new season of the FX anthology series. While the family called the new season of "American Crime Story" a "work of fiction," Murphy revealed he didn't believe that to be true.

Murphy said, "The Versace family has said it's a work of fiction--it is not a work of fiction. ['The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story'] was based on a non-fiction book by Jeffrey Toobin. 'Versace' is based on a non-fiction book by Maureen Orth that has been discussed and dissected and vetted for close to 20 years. She worked for Vanity Fair. Maureen Orth is an impeccable reporter and we stand by her reporting. Our show is based on her reporting so, in that way, it is not a work of fiction, it's a work of non-fiction obviously with docudrama elements. We're not making a documentary."

He added, "That's really all I have to say about it, other than of course I feel if you're family is ever portrayed in something, it's natural to sort of have a 'Well, let's wait and see what happens' [stance]."

Murphy went on saying that despite the official statement, Donatella Versace, Gianni's sister and vice president and chief designer of the Versace Group, sent "a very large arrangement of flowers" to star Penelope Cruz when she was representing the show at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards. "I don't know if she is going to watch the show, but if she did I think that she would see that we treat her and her family with respect and kindness," he shared. "Then, there's the fact that after I offered the role to Penelope, she said, 'Okay I'm interested but I'm friends with Donatella and I'm not going to do it unless Donatella is cool with it.' So she called Donatella."

"She really is a feminist role model in my book, because she had to step into an impossible situation, which she did with grace and understanding. I think that she really loved Penelope and knows that Penelope would never do anything to represent her in a negative light. Hopefully she'll read what I'm saying to you," Murphy added.

EP Brad Simpson, meanwhile, said that "The Assassination of Gianni Versace" was indeed not "authorized," adding, "We don't make any pretense at it being authorized." He went on saying, "This is based on Maureen Orth's book. She's an incredibly respected journalist. It's a non-fiction bestseller. And also, we're not just telling the story of Versace. We're telling the story of all the lives that were affected by the murders of Andrew Cunanan. They're entitled to feel how they want to feel, but we stand by the veracity of the show."

Also starring Edgar Ramirez as Gianni Versace, Ricky Martin as Antonio D'Amico and Darren Criss as Andrew Cunanan, "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story" will premiere on January 17 on FX.

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