Ex-Studio 54 owner Mark Fleischman dies by assisted suicide in Zurich

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Mark Fleischman  (Getty Images)
Mark Fleischman (Getty Images)

Former owner of the legendary Studio 54 nightclub Mark Fleischman has died by assisted suicide in Switzerland, his former business partner has said.

Mr Fleischman, 82, who ran the iconic New York hangout in the 1980s, took his life at the Dignitas clinic near Zurich on Wednesday.

The ex-nightclub boss, who took over Studio 54 from 1980 to 1986, first became ill in 2016.

He was unable to walk and do things for himself, although doctors were not able to diagnose his medical condition.

His former business partner, Daniel Fitzgerald, confirmed the news to the Independent.

“I got a text from (his wife) Mimi this morning to say that he passed away bravely,” he told the publication.

“We didn’t realise how much pain he was in.”

The pair co-owned the Century Club in Los Angeles in the 1990s and 2000s.

Last month, Mr Fleischman said he had planned to travel to the Dignitas clinic with his wife of 27 years, Mimi.

In an interview with the New York Post, he revealed that he was no longer able to do “anything for [himself]”.

“I am taking a gentle way out,” he said. “It is the easiest way out for me.”

Friends hoped Mr Fleischman would postpone the visit to Switzerland after Mr Fitzgerald held a “living wake” for him.

Assisted dying is legal in Switzerland, and the Dignitas clinic has been open since 2002.

Owning the club during its glory years, Studio 54 gained a reputation for attracting A-list celebrities including David Bowie, Keith Richards, Andy Warhol and Liza Minnelli.

Mr Fleischman charted the club’s heydey in his memoir Inside Studio 54 which was published in 2017.

In it, he wrote about being “swept up in a world of celebrities, drugs, power and sex”.

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Mimi.

Anyone seeking help can call Samaritans free on 116 123 or visit samaritans.org

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