Though The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story certainly looks compelling, you should also take the entire series with a grain of salt, according to the Versace family. When it comes to the show鈥檚 portrayal of the tragic events around Gianni鈥檚 death, they think fans should consider it a 鈥渨ork of fiction.鈥

Based on Maureen Orth鈥檚 book Vulgar Favors: Andrew Cunanan, Gianni Versace, and the Largest Failed Manhunt in US History, the FX show aims to tell the story around the murder of the celebrated fashion designer. The 50-year-old died on July 15, 1997, when he was shot and killed by Andrew Cunanan on the steps of his Miami Beach mansion as he returned home from a morning walk.

There鈥檚 been a lot of buzz around the series 鈥 especially given the success of season 1, The People v. OJ Simpson 鈥 but the family wants viewers to know that they鈥檙e not behind it. 鈥淭he Versace family has neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever in the forthcoming TV series about the death of Mr. Gianni Versace,鈥 they said in a statement to E! News. 鈥淪ince Versace did not authorize the book on which it is partly based nor has it taken part in the writing of the screenplay, this TV series should only be considered as a work of fiction.鈥

脡dgar Ram铆rez, who plays the main character, admitted to E! that he didn鈥檛 speak with anyone from the late designer鈥檚 family. 鈥淚 had access to people who were very close to Gianni who were generous enough to open up to me and share their experiences with him. That was very helpful. 鈥 Not his family though, but people who were like family to him.鈥

Pen茅lope Cruz, on the other hand, told Entertainment Weekly that she did talk with the family, and even met with the designer鈥檚 sister, Donatella Versace, before she accepted the role. 鈥淚 did have one conversation that was between she and I. I don鈥檛 want to say the details, but it was a long conversation.鈥

Ryan Murphy, who is producing the show, also said that Donatella made a request regarding the script. 鈥淪he didn鈥檛 want her children to be characters in the show or exploited, and I understood that, so we removed that element,鈥 he told EW.

FX, for its part, is standing by the show, saying in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter: 鈥淟ike the original American Crime Story series The People v. OJ Simpson, which was based on Jeffrey Toobin鈥檚 nonfiction bestseller The Run of His Life, FX鈥檚 follow-up The Assassination of Gianni Versace is based on Maureen Orth鈥檚 heavily researched and authenticated nonfiction bestseller Vulgar Favors, which examined the true life crime spree of Andrew Cunanan. We stand by the meticulous reporting of Ms. Orth.鈥

We鈥檒l be able to see how true-to-life the series is (or isn鈥檛) when The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story premieres on Wednesday, January 17, at 10pm on FX.

What do you think about the fact that the Versace family says that the American Horror Story project is a 鈥渨ork of fiction鈥? Let us know @BritandCo!

(photo via Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal via Getty Images)