07 December 2010

Versace respond to 'Mafia murder' claims

The House of Versace has responded to claims by a former member of the mafia that Gianni Versace was murdered as a result of links to organised crime.

The claims were made in a new book called Metastasis published earlier this month, by mafioso turned informer, Giuseppe Di Bella, who described to an interviewer how the label was used by the criminals to launder money from ‘drugs, extortion, protection rackets, loan sharking’ and how they would use ‘clean businesses like that of Versace’ in the process.

Versace was killed at his home in Miami in 1997, an event which shocked the fashion world. The death of the founder and chief designer immeadiately jeopardised the future of the label, until Gianni's sister Donatella stepped into the head role at the house.

The claims have now been refuted by a spokesperson for Versace, in a statement which reads; ‘We categorically state that it is based on the false and shameful allegations and “confessions” of a former member of the ’Ndrangheta. [The Mafia] The Versace family, together with Gianni Versace SpA, utterly refute these baseless allegations and reserve the right to take every possible civil and criminal action against anybody who repeats or propagates these allegations, and to protect the reputation of the company and the memory of Gianni Versace.’

Santo Versace, brother to Donatella and Gianni, as well as the chairman of the Gianni Versace group, has also spoken out in an interview broadcast on Italian television last night; 'It's absolutely all false....The Gianni Versace company has never laundered dirty money or trafficked drugs. Everyone knows this.'

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