What are your Wednesday night plans? If you’re anything like us, there’s one thing on the agenda: watching The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story, which premieres tonight on FX. Starring Édgar Ramírez and Penelope Cruz as Gianni and Donatella Versace, respectively, the show delves into the infamous murder of the fashion icon.
Since the Versace family has stated that the new TV show should be considered a “work of fiction,” we decided to revisit the facts surrounding the tragedy before we watch it.
1. Versace’s killer, Andrew Cunanan, was already on the FBI’s most-wanted list before he killed Versace. He murdered four other people prior to the designer without ever getting captured. His victims were all men: Jeff Trail, avid Madsen, Lee Miglin, and William Reese.
2. Cunanan’s motives still remain unclear. He committed suicide but did not leave behind clues to explain his killing spree.
3. Gianni Versace was a trailblazer when it came to melding fashion and Hollywood. Anna Wintour explained his specific impact in The New York Times obituary published on July 16, 1996: ”He was the first to realize the value of the celebrity in the front row, and the value of the supermodel, and put fashion on an international media platform,” she told the newspaper at the time. ”He relished media attention and masterminded it, and everybody followed in his footsteps.” The obituary also stated that he left behind an $807-million business.
4. Versace’s family was an integral part of the business. The New York Times explained his family members’ roles in his 1996 obituary: “Mr. Versace’s brother, Santo, and his sister, Donatella, helped him start his own house in 1978. Today, Ms. Versace is creative director of the house and designs the Versus collection; Santo is the president of the company, and Paul Beck, Ms. Versace’s husband, is the director of Versace’s men’s wear.”
5. His last fashion show was only a week before his death. According to The Telegraph, he staged his final show at The Ritz in Paris before flying back to his home in Miami, where he was killed.
5 Versace Facts You Need to Know Before the American Crime Story Premiere