The murder of designer Gianni Versace and O. J. Simpson’s trial are two of the most talked-about issues in America over the last two-and-half decades. The TV series American Crime Story has painstakingly recreated both these events for the benefit of millions of viewers whose eyes are glued to their screens each week. Here are 10 unknown facts about this popular show.
American Crime Story season 1, subtitled The People v. O. J.Simpson, proved to be so popular that showrunners were signed on for a second season, subtitled The Assassination of Gianni Versace, which is currently wrapping up on FX. Both seasons have been acclaimed for their high production values, acting, and in-depth look at their subjects.
While the series is being watched by millions of people, there are many facts that may come as a surprise to viewers. Both season 1 and 2 were based on books, which themselves claim to be based on the facts of the respective cases. However, there are several variations from what really happened to what was seen on American Crime Story so far.
We have 10 unknown facts about American Crime Story that shine a light on two of the most talked about events in modern American history.
#1. The Versace Family Are Unhappy with the Book
The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is based on the non-fiction Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in U.S. History written by Maureen Orth. The book is controversial, mainly because the Versace family said many times that it is not accurate, calling it “a work of fiction.”
#2. Gianni Versace May Not Have Actually Met His Killer
The series shows that Gianni Versace met Andrew Cunanan in a nightclub in 1990, a meeting confirmed by eyewitnesses. In the show, the designer pointed at Cunanan and said, “I know you. Lago di Como, no?” to which Cunanan replied, “Thank you for remembering, Signor Versace.” In reality, though Versace had a home on Lake Como in Italy, there was no evidence that he had ever met Cunanan.
#3. Some Parts Were Made More Dramatic for TV
In the show, Versace’s boyfriend, Antonio D’Amico discovers the designer’s body and holds Versace’s head in his arms until paramedics take the body away in an ambulance. In 2017, D’Amico told the Observer, “The picture of Ricky Martin holding the body in his arms is ridiculous. I saw Gianni lying on the steps, with blood around him. At that point, everything went dark. I was pulled away; I didn’t see any more.”
#4. Some Parts Were More Dramatic in Reality
In the show, we saw a white dove get hit by a bullet fired by Cunanan as he shoots Versace. The bird is found next to the designer’s body.
What really happened was even more dramatic, as a bullet passed through Versace, struck the metal gate of the mansion, splintered, and a fragment hit the dove, killing it. The police initially thought that the dead dove was a sign that Versace was killed by the mafia.
#5. Many Tried to Use Versace’s Death to Get Noticed
In the TV series, a model is shown walking through the live news shot in front of Versace’s house. In reality, there were several women who did so. When Orth visited the scene of the crime at 6:30 a.m. two days after the murder, she remembered, “Even at that hour, women in skin-tight leotards and shorts were pretending to stroll by the mansion, hoping to be caught by the cameras of at least a dozen TV crews set up on the lawn across the street.”
#6. Season 1 Was Based on a Book
The People v. O. J. Simpson: American Crime Story is based on the book, The Run of His Life: The People v. O. J. Simpson written by Jeffrey Toobin.
#7. Nicole Brown’s Body Was Actually Found by Her Dog
In season 1, a neighbor who was out walking his dog on June 13, 1994, found the dead bodies of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in the front courtyard of her Brentwood condo after seeing Brown’s dog’s paws covered in blood. In real life, on that fateful night, Brown’s dog first followed the neighbor home and then led other neighbors to the scene.
#8. Robert Kardashian Never Said Simpson Killed Himself
In the series, Robert Kardashian is seen telling O. J. Simpson’s family that “we have reason to believe that he’s killed himself…O. J.’s in a better place.” In reality, he never said that. It would have been very irresponsible of Kardashian to say that when he didn’t have the details because, just after that, O. J. Simpson’s daughter, Arnelle, saw the chase on TV and said, “No. Wait. Look!”
#9. The Kardashian Siblings Were Not So Involved
In the show, when Robert Kardashian appears on TV to read the suicide note, a younger Kim, Khloe, Kourtney, and Rob start cheering for him, not paying attention to what he was reading.
In reality, this did not happen. The portrayal of the future reality TV stars calling out “Kar-dash-i-an, Kar-dash-i-an” was just too juicy for the creative team not to include.
#10. O. J. Simpson Did Not Return to Brown’s Condo
On the show, the day the jury visited O. J.Simpson’s house and the crime scene, he is seen wearing a suit and tie, hands not shackled, and he goes into Brown’s condo. In real life, Simpson remained in an unmarked police car around the corner.
Despite deviating from reality in both of these famous crimes, there have been instances where American Crime Story pretty much hit the bull’s eye. The writers for projects such as these typically have the creative license to add or alter certain elements of the show, but it is mostly to make it more engaging.
The subject matter of seasons 3 and 4 were already announced. The third season will be based on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, while the fourth season will be based on the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal. American Crime Story promises to be gripping and tense in the seasons to come.