5 Versace Facts You Need To Know Before Watching 'American Crime Story: The Assassination Of Gianni Versace'

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On Jul. 15, 1997, America was stunned by the devastating news that beloved fashion designer Gianni Versace had been murdered outside of his Malibu home. Since his death, Versace's legacy has continued to live on through his family and elite celebrity friends that continue to wear his designs.

Versace's murder remains one of America's most intriguing deaths as the man who committed the murder, Andrew Cunanan, killed himself eight days later.

American Crime Story creator Ryan Murphy will once again take everyone down memory lane as he explores the events leading up to the fateful day Versace was killed and what drove Cunanan to take the life of not only Versace but seven other innocent people. 

Actor Edgar Ramirez will portray the ill-fated designer and Glee's Darren Criss will take on the role of Cunanan. As the series is set to premiere on Wednesday, Jan. 17, here are some facts about Versace you need to know before watching the new season.

1. Versace Had Friends In High Places

Versace was well-known in the industry for his illustrious and bold designs, especially for iconic personalities. Versace was very close friends with the late Princess Diana, Elton John, Naomi Campbell, Madonna, Sting, Cher, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton, and Duran Duran. Princess Diana as well as Elton John reportedly attended Versace's funeral.

2. His Sister, Donatella, Did Not Get Along With His Lover

Antonio D'Amico was in a relationship with Versace beginning in 1982. According to Versace's sister, Donatella, the two never saw "eye to eye."

"My relationship with Antonio is exactly as it was when Gianni was alive. I respected him as the boyfriend of my brother, but I never liked him as a person. So the relationship stayed the same," Donatella had said.

3. He Left His Estate To His Niece, Allegra

Versace was known to dote upon his nieces and nephews, particularly Allegra, who is Donatella's daughter. After Versace's death, it was announced that Allegra would own 50% of Gianni Versace S.p.A. on her 18th birthday. Allegra is currently worth $800 million dollars. 

4. The Show Will Depict Why Versace Was Targeted 

The mystery behind Versace's murder was the subject of the book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History, written by Maureen Orth.

Ryan Murphy stated that the reason for choosing Versace's murder as the subject for the second season was to try and understand why Versace was murdered.

"We're exploring the reasons of how he [Andrew Cunanan] got away with being undetected. The tragedy of the Versace murder was that it should not have happened," Murphy stated. 

5. Versace's Family Does Not Approve Of The Show 

Versace's relatives do not support the upcoming season and have called it a "work of fiction." Donatella stated that she will not watch the show because it is based off a book that tells "incredible falsehood." This contradicts Murphy's claims as the American Horror Story creator stated that he was in contact with Donatella prior to the production of the second season.

The Assassination of Gianni Versace premieres Wednesday, Jan. 17, at 10 p.m. on FX. 

 

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