If you've seen the previews for Ryan Murphy's newest American Crime Story series, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, you'll notice how extraordinarily lavish the whole thing looks. At least, that's the first thing I noticed. This, therefore, may cause you to wonder: what was Gianni Versace's net worth? To be honest, reports and estimates vary somewhat. However they do all agree on one important fact. It was a lot of money. An extravagant amount of money. The kind of money that makes relatives start fighting with each other after you've died.
In 1997, Gianni Versace was shot and murdered right outside of his Miami Beach mansion. But before that, he was the head of one of the most powerful fashion empires in the world. Born in 1946 as the son of a dressmaker, Versace had grown up around clothes. He showed his first collection under the name Gianni Versace Donna in 1978. He made a name for himself through working with top talent, including some of the most enduring fashion photographers ever, such as Helmut Newton, Steven Meisel, and Richard Avedon. He is also credited with inventing the supermodel, paying huge amounts of money to Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington.
By the time of his murder, his fashion empire was worth £500 million. Obviously, this would translate into a lot more money today. Versace left his 50 percent stake in the company to his niece, Allegra Beck.
According to some estimates, Versace was worth $1.4 billion at the time of his death. Other estimates are a little more circumspect. Town & Country, for example, looks not at what Versace's net worth was when he died, but what he would have been worth today. Right now, the company is valued at about $1.7 billion. As a 50 percent stakeholder, that would make Versace worth around $800 million. For context, that is over twice what the average Kardashian is worth. Then again, this does not take into consideration Versace's immense art collection or his several opulent properties.
In 2004, the year Versace's niece turned 18, the world once again turned its eye to the fashion house. This was the year that Beck would inherit her 50 percent stake in the company. Her mother, Donatella Versace, controls 20 percent while Donatella and Gianni's older brother Santo controls 30 percent. As for the other people in Versace's life? I wouldn't feel too bad for them. Beck's brother Daniel inherited the art collection (not too shabby, if you ask me), while Versace's partner of 15 years, Antonio D'Amico, was granted $57,000 per month for life, as well as the right to live in any one of Versace's homes, according to The Guardian.
Basically, Versace had an enormous amount of money — more money than most people can even fathom, really. Based on Ryan Murphy's series, that is immediately obvious. Versace is shown lounging around his lush mansion, drinking orange juice off of a silver platter, and being waited on by heavily by some very attractive male members of his staff. It's the dream life — until the part about being shot, of course.
But while fans may be looking forward to the show's debut, the Versace family has issued two statements about the project, in which they first call The Assassination of Gianni Versace a "work of fiction," while later adding in a second statement that the book upon which it is based — Vulgar Favors by Maureen Orth — is simply full of "gossip and speculation."
Murphy, the show's creator, has stood by Orth's reporting and her story. To E News he said that the book has "been scrutinized and vetted for close to two decades. And a lot of if not all of Maureen's reporting in that book was on the record, and it's been sourced out, and we had our own sources." He added, "It is not a work of fiction."
Viewers will have to make up their own mind of how they feel the fashion icon's story is portrayed. All I really know is that I can't wait to see the decadence.
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