Fabio claims Gianni Versace owed him $1M for fragrance shoot

Fabio is speaking his truth about his working relationship with the late Gianni Versace.

The famed ’90s romance novel cover model explained on the “People in the ’90s” podcast that Versace never paid him for a Mediterraneum perfume campaign he worked on in the early ’90s.

Fabio, 62, claimed that his contract was worth several million; however, he received only part of what he was owed. The Italian-born actor alleged that he should have gotten at least $1 million extra.

Versace was murdered in July 1997 in front of the steps of his mansion in Miami.

“The Versace campaign was extremely successful at that time,” Fabio said, “because it was the biggest contract a model — not just a male model, a model — ever got. So, I got a contract even bigger than Cindy Crawford and the rest of the female models.” 

“It was a multi-multimillion-dollar contract, plus 6% of the growth, of sell,” the “Zoolander” star said. “When I started advertising, all of a sudden it became one of the best colognes out there. I was doing appearances; 15,000, 18,000, 20,000 people were showing up outside of Saks Fifth Avenue.” 

Fabio moved to NYC to kick-start his modeling career in 1987.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty

He continued: “You know, unfortunately, Versace wasn’t a very honest man. God bless his soul, but the truth is the truth. He wasn’t a very honest person.” 

Fabio also touched upon his career as a model. Going to fabulous parties with his friends was just part of the job until one night changed his life forever.

“I saw my best friend overdose from heroin,” Fabio said. “I found him dead in the bathroom.” He was 16 at the time. The experience was so shocking that he never touched drugs or alcohol again.

Instead, he started getting high in a different way: “My drug became endorphins, like working out.”

The catwalk king moved to New York City in 1987 and he later found an agent at Ford Models. He then scored a Gap campaign for a fee of $175,000. Fabio added when he called to tell his father about his job, his dad said, “I’m not going to give you money, so just come back home.”

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