Mark Fleischman, former owner of the legendary New York nightclub Studio 54, has died by assisted suicide at Switzerland’s Dignitas Clinic, says his former business partner.
Fleischman, who was 82, began experiencing complications related to an undiagnosed neurological disease in 2016. Eventually, it rendered him unable to care for himself.
“I can’t walk, my speech is f–ked up and I can’t do anything for myself,” he told the New York Post in June. “My wife helps me get into bed and I can’t dress or put on my shoes. I am taking a gentle way out. It is the easiest way out for me.”
Daniel Fitzgerald, who co-owned the Century Club in Los Angeles with Mr. Fleischman from the mid-’90s to 2007, told BBC News: “I guess he was in more pain than we knew.”
The former club owner died on Wednesday at the Dignitas Clinic in Switzerland, where assisted suicide is legal.
Fleischman assumed control of Studio 54 in 1980 after the original owners were jailed for tax evasion. He ran the club until 1986.
“From the very first night we opened, in 1981, I was swept up in a world of celebrities, drugs, power and sex,” he wrote in a 2017 memoir titled Inside Studio 54.
Known for its celebrity guest lists, restrictive door policies, rampant substance use and open sexual activity, Studio 54 first opened in 1977 at the height of disco’s popularity.
“Every night, celebrities and stunning women made their way through the crowd, up the stairs to my office to sip champagne and share lines of cocaine using my golden straw or rolled-up $100 bills,” Fleischman wrote.
He is survived by Mimi, his wife of 27 years, and three children.
Originally reported by RA.