Jennifer Lopez says that tragedy helped bring her together with her now close friend, Donatella Versace.
Over the past few years, the singer has rocked pieces from Donatella’s collection on multiple red carpet occasions. But in a recent interview with Vogue, the 49-year-old confessed that while she had been wearing Versace for quite some time, she didn’t really become super close with Donatella until after her brother was murdered.
When Lopez was asked by the publication what she would be wearing during her acceptance of the MTV Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the upcoming MTV Music Video Awards, she said it would be “something Versace.” Lopez explained to the magazine that she wanted to honor their bond and friendship at the special occasion.
JLo and Donatella met at the Met Gala in 1999 — two years after the brutal murder of Donatella’s brother, Gianni. The pair were seated together and that’s when JLo comforted Versace, she says.
“My heart went out to her [Donatella]. I just kept touching her and holding her hand.”
“She felt so fragile at the time. And she remembered that and we kind of bonded after that. She was so kind and so sweet to me, and we always kept in touch. She was always sending me dresses for whatever I needed,” Lopez continued.
The ladies’ friendship started to blossom over the years and they even ended up attending the 2015 Met Gala together. Lopez confessed that the pair’s relationship progressed naturally and it was organic. Since then, she has worn the designer on a number of occasions, including with her iconic look at the 2000 Grammy Awards.
As many will recall, Donatella’s brother, Gianni, was brutally murdered by serial killer Andrew Cunanan on July 15, 1997. Harper’s Bazaar shares that Versace was returning home from a morning walk at his home in Miami’s South Beach area when Cunanan approached the fashion designer and shot him point blank. Two months before Versace’s murder, it was reported that Cunanan had been living in the Miami Beach area.
Following the murder of Versace, Cunanan kept a lower profile before eventually being located by authorities and committing suicide on a houseboat that he had broken into. Prior to the murder of Gianni, Andrew Cunanan went on a cross-country killing spree, victimizing innocent people in his path of destruction, killing four people before turning the gun on Versace.
Versace’s funeral in Milan had a huge turnout, with over 2,000 guests, including Princess Diana, Elton John, and Naomi Campbell.
Earlier this year, FX debuted the show, The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.