Mark Fleischman, one of the owners of the mythical Studio 54, the nightclub that ran New York’s Gratin in 1970-1980, died by assisted suicide in Switzerland. He was 82 years old.
According to the New York Post, Fleischman was unable to walk after his illness in 2016 and his speech was impaired. Doctors were never able to diagnose his exact condition.
“I can’t walk, my speech is screwed up and I can’t do anything for myself. My wife helps me into bed and I can’t get dressed or put my shoes on. I take a gentle exit. It’s the easiest solution for me,” he told The Post last month.
Studio 54 has hosted stars like Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Halston, Liza Minelli and Cher. Even Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau’s wife, Margaret Trudeau, mother of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has made appearances there that have been noticed well after… Ottawa.
The original owners, Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager, sold the nightclub to Fleischman in 1980, three years after its inception, after a tax evasion conviction. Fleischman parted ways four years later and in 1986 Studio 54 closed its doors for good and became a legend that even earned him a 1998 Hollywood film, 54, starring Neve Campbell, Salma Hayek, Mike Myers, Ryan Philippe and Sela Ward.
Fleischman has never shyed away from celebrating a lot in his life, which may have caught up with him towards the end of his life.
“I liked being stoned. So I was on drugs and alcohol. Maybe that [état de santé] It’s because I drank a lot and took drugs,” he told the Post.
After years of suffering, Fleischman decided to travel to Switzerland, where he was given a lethal dose of barbiturates.
“The more I think about it, the more I want to do it. I fly direct from LA to Zurich. There will be no last party,” Fleischman told the Big Apple newspaper.
This choice of assisted suicide is not meaningless to Fleischman, who worked for the nonprofit organization Dignitas, which was founded in 1998 to help people commit suicide when their health is failing. Dignitas members reviewed his medical records and interviewed him.