There isn’t anyone in the world more intimately familiar with the 1997 murder of Gianni Versace than Antonio D’Amico; at the time, the two were partners — and it was Antonio who found Gianni’s lifeless, blood-stained body on the steps of his Miami mansion. And now he’s speaking out and sharing his story — while simultaneously slamming the American Crime Story adaption of his lover’s life and death.
“I felt as if my blood had turned to ice,” he told The Guardian of hearing gunshots outside the Miami mansion. The 58-year-old and the butler went outside to investigate. “The house had stained glass windows so we couldn’t see what had happened from inside, so we had to open the gate. 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 anymore.”
The scene has been recreated and will live in infamy, thanks to the upcoming installion of American Crime Story, in which he’s portrayed by Ricky Martin. According to Antonio — who dated the much older designer for 15 years, until his death — the scene isn’t portrayed well. He explained, “The picture of Ricky Martin holding the body in his arms is ridiculous. Maybe it’s the director’s poetic license, but that is not how I reacted.”
Ricky Martin in character as Antonio on the ACS set.
In the years that followed Gianni’s death, things were understandably difficult for Antonio, 58. Following the murder, he struggled with depression and saw a therapist for the first time. But now — 20 years later — he said he’s finally found peace.
“Sincerely, after two decades, I will always be connected to Gianni as a person I loved for more than 15 years,” he said. “But today, I am a different person… the world continues to go around… You can look back at the past until a certain point, [but] then you need to look ahead to the future.”