Famed Nineties model Fabio – who appeared on the cover of romance novels before popping up in movies and becoming a household name – took aim at the late fashion legend Gianni Versace this week.
The Italian-born star, 62, told People that designer Gianni, who was shot dead in 1997, never paid him in full for the Mediterraneum fragrance campaign in the early Nineties.
Fabio alleges the contract was worth several millions of dollars but the Zoolander actor received only part of his fee and he should have gotten nearly $1million extra.
‘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 said.
Opening up: Famed model Fabio, pictured here in 2017, discussed his career and relationship with father on a new episode of the podcast People in the 90s
Not an honest man: Gianni Versace, pictured here with his sister Donatella, allegedly owed Fabio about a million dollars but never paid, and the model said he ‘wasn’t a very honest man’
The star added: ‘It was a multi-multi-million dollar contract, plus 6% of the growth, of sell. 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.’
But he alleges the money did not follow as he was not fully paid. ‘Big time. A million. 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,’ he shared.
Representatives for the Versace brand had no comment when asked contacted by People.
Fabio says he has a clear memory of the shoot. ‘The Versace campaign was extremely successful at that time,’ he shared, ‘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.’
He had the look: The star in Versace’s Mediterraneum fragrance in the early Nineties
The pop culture icon also talked about his tumultuous relationship with his father who ran a factory in Italy and did not support his son’s dreams of becoming a model.
He said his father once asked him, ‘You want to be a mannequin? And not a man?’
But the young Italian, who had found some limited modeling success in his home country, was set on becoming a household name, so he went to New York City because, ‘If you’re famous in the United States, you’re famous all over.’
On his first day in the United States, Fabio secured an agent from Ford Models. The next day, he booked a campaign for Gap worth $175,000.
A sad end: Gianni was shot dead in Miami in 1997; seen here in 1985
When he tried to call his dad to tell him the good news, the older Lanzoni told him he wouldn’t give him money, assuming his son had called to beg, and hung up.
The Sharknado 5 actor was everywhere by 1993. His face was on hundreds of romance novels and advertisements, and he even appeared on television. That’s when his father finally accepted his profession.
‘That’s when my dad finally said, “I am proud of you,”‘ Fabio said. The words meant, ‘more than anything, more than becoming famous, more than money, more than anything.’
Daddy issues: The pop culture icon, pictured here in 2018 also talked about his tumultuous relationship with his father who ran a factory in Italy and didn’t support his son’s dreams of becoming a model
A proud papa: The face of romance in the 90s, Fabio was world famous by the time this photo was taken in 1994. But he said his father saying he was proud of his son meant more to the model than anything else
The star revealed what he is looking for in a partner in an interview with People earlier this week
He said he wants a woman who is funny, doesn’t obsess over social media and enjoys nature. Despite his advanced age, he is still hoping to have a child one day as well.
He also opened up about his own heartbreak. The actor said he dated a woman, another model, who now has a family. He refused to go into any more detail than that.
‘I treated her badly. She wanted to settle down, and I was just too wild.’
No toxins: The icon, pictured here in 2018, works out a ton, doesn’t drink, do drugs or eat sweets
Fabio still works out quite a bit, and does not use alcohol or drugs because he saw his friend overdose from heroin when he was 16. He also stays away from sweets.
The most notable difference in today’s Fabio from the one many fans were first introduced to is his choice of bed.
Instead of a mattress, Fabio sleeps in a hyperbaric chamber which he said, ‘reverses the aging process.’