The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is now at the center of a lawsuit against FX, Netflix, and author Maureen Orth. The suit, filed anonymously last Tuesday, doesn't name the show specifically but does include both networks, the Vulgar Favors author and writer Tom Rob Smith who wrote all of the episodes in the limited series.
According to The Blast, the plaintiff claims they sued Orth in 2000 for "invasion of privacy and/or defamation." Listed as J. Roe in the claim, they claim that a confidential settlement was reached with the author that was allegedly violated with the production of the show.
The lawsuit says that Orth, Smith, and the two networks defamed "Roe" by "including a false implication that the Plaintiff is a chronic abuser of alcohol who consumes alcohol throughout the day."
The Blast points out, the plaintiff claims they reached out to FX with a cease and desist "from ongoing defamation" but alleges that the network refused the order. The lawsuit adds that Orth "has personal knowledge that the defamatory matter was false" because it was allegedly fabricated by her in Vulgar Favors.
The suit is seeking unspecified damages from those involved, but it doesn't seem like it will force either FX or Netflix to remove the series from streaming platforms.
The second season for American Crime Story received a lot of praise when it premiered in 2018. Edgar Ramirez took on the titular role as the late fashion designer who was murdered by serial killer Andrew Cunanan, played in the series by Darren Criss. Penelope Cruz and Ricky Martin also starred in the series as Donatella Versace and Antonio D'Amico respectively.
The series went on to received plenty of attention during awards season, including nine Emmy Awards nominations and three wins. This includes one for Outstanding Limited Series and another for Criss as Outstanding Lead Actor.
According to the NY Daily News, representatives for FX and Netflix did not respond or comment on the lawsuit.
This would be the second lawsuit for a Ryan Murphy-related project at FX. Actress Olivia de Havilland filed suit against FX for her portrayal in Feud: Bette and Joan and ended up taking it all the way to the Supreme Court before having it dismissed.0comments
The actress claimed that Catherine Zeta-Jones' portrayal in the series "violated her right to publicity, depicted her in a false light, and damaged her 'professional reputation for integrity, honesty, generosity, self-sacrifice, and dignity," according to Forbes.
The suit was originally tossed out by a California state appeals court claiming it would "negatively impact the rights of screenwriters and producers to develop creative works that dramatize historical events or public figures."