House of Versace Director Defends the Film

Sara Sugarman and Gina Gershon. Photo: Matteo Prandoni/ NYC

At last night's premiere for House of Versace, a Lifetime film starring Gina Gershon, director Sara Sugarman responded to the fashion house's terse statement that they "neither authorized nor had any involvement whatsoever" in the movie. "The truth is that they haven’t seen it," said Sugarman. "They chose to separate themselves from it, to protect themselves." But in some ways, the avoidance was mutual: "We kept away, because we didn’t want to get into Donatella being one of the producers," the director admitted. "We just wanted to tell a story and tell it well and get the best actor for the job, which I believe we did."

Versace was also apparently miffed about being the subject of a TV movie instead of a feature film. "I think they kind of wanted it to be a big movie," said Sugarman. "But television movies are getting made more and more, and they’re much more ambitious than they were." In the end, she thinks Donatella would like the finished product, if she ever gets around to watching. "I think [she] would be pleased with it because it’s a redemption story. She’s so brave and very human. And she kept it together in the end."