Sunday, January 21, 2018

That Big Versace lie

Private eye Frank Monte and girlfriend Sharon Sargeant
WHILE THE VERSACE FAMILY fulminate about the new TV series The Assassination of Gianni Versace : American Crime Story about the murder of Gianni Versace one matter still remains unresolved.
In 2002 Donatella and Santos Versace sued Sydney and Los Angeles based private eye Frank Monte for defamation over his book, The Spying Game in which Monte alleged Gianni was murdered over his involvement with the Italian Mafia and that the accused killer Andrew Cunanan was acting for the Mafia but soon realized he had been set up as a patsy and as promised support from the underworld evaporated he killed himself shortly after.

The Australian media, as it so often
does acted like a chorus chamber and their reports on the Versace family were frankly, embarrassing as they treated the Versaces like Royalty and Monte like something the cat dragged in who dared to challenge the Versace empire.

Not one media outlet- bar Whispers- has reported one very pertinent fact. Donatella Versace was grilled via a TV link in the Australian Federal Court by one of Australia's most respected legal eagles Clive Evatt QC.
She emphatically, and with some outrage stated that she had never taken drugs in her life and said the claim was an outrageous lie. Monte lost the case.

Yet less than 2 years later Donatella Versace gave an interview to Vogue Magazine in which she stated that she had been addicted to cocaine before and after Gianna's murder and the singer Sir Elton John had aided her recovery in a clinic.
Donatella had committed perjury in Australia's top court and the Australian media remained mute, occasionally continuing their outrage at Monte's claim the Versace empire was propped up by Mafia money.

In 2011 one of Italy's most famous and respected investigative journalists Gianluigi Nuzzi released the book "Metastasi" in which he detailed how the feared and  notorious Italian Calabrian mafia N'Drangheta had murdered the fashion icon over financial skullduggery. Santos Versace threatened to sue Nuzzi over claims that mirrored Monte's. He never did.

Even in the current controversy over the new TV series to be screened in the UK and USA next week, the Australian media still remains silent on this insult to our courts. The provincial nature of our media is sometimes an embarrassment.
# with the original book pulped, Monte re-released The Spying Game without the Versace claims which became a best-seller in Europe.
## In 2010 a Miami detective confirmed their suspicions echoed Monte's claim of Mafia involvement in Gianni's murder.
### Vanity Fair's article on Maureen Orth's book on which the new Versace TV series is based.