‘American Crime Story': Yes, Marilyn Miglin Still Sells Perfume

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” focuses on the woman married to Andrew Cunanan’s third victim, whose perfume empire still stands

The disjointed approach to storytelling in FX’s “The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” means that in its third episode, the show moves backwards to tell the story of how Andrew Cunanan killed his third victim, Lee Miglin.

Most of “American Crime Story” Episode 3, “A Random Killing,” focuses on the experiences of the wife of Lee Miglin (Mike Farrell), Marilyn, played by Judith Light. The episode tracks her relationship with her husband, and suggests that it’s possible Miglin was killed in 1997 partially because he knew and had had an affair with Cunanan. “A Random Killing” is mostly about Marilyn working to deal with he loss of her husband, and the strength she has to show to keep her business together.

Like everyone in “American Crime Story,” Marilyn Miglin is a real person and the details of how Cunanan killed her husband are true, even if the two men’s relationship is the show’s guess at what happened. As seen in the episode, Marilyn Miglin really did sell perfume on the Home Shopping Network.

In fact, Marilyn Miglin was as successful at selling beauty products as “American Crime Story” suggests — and she’s still selling them.

Marilyn Miglin’s perfume empire was well-established by the time she was pulled into Cunanan’s tale. She created her signature scent, Pheromone, in 1980. As seen on the show, she regularly appeared on HSN to sell her products — she was filming an appearance in Canada the weekend her husband was killed. She appeared on the network to show off her cosmetics for years.

Today, the company bearing Marilyn Miglin’s name sells a huge variety of fragrances, skin care products and cosmetics — and it still sells its signature luxury perfume, Pheromone. The Home Shopping Network still carries Marilyn Miglin’s beauty products as well.

Marilyn Miglin’s website states that she’s one of the top 500 most successful businesswomen in America. She also put her business success to good use, and is known as a philanthropist and a humanitarian in the Chicago area. Day Spa Magazine published an article detailing how Marilyn would visit people in the University of Chicago’s Craniofacial Center, a trauma center for people with facial injuries, and “provide patients with beauty services and uplifting motivation.”

Chicago even renamed the city’s Oak Street to Marilyn Miglin Way, as the Washington Post reports.