ZURICH, SWITZERLAND (CelebrityAccess) – Former Studio 54 owner Mark Fleischman died Wednesday (July 13) by assisted suicide with his wife of 27 years by his side, Mimi Fleischman.
Fleischman decided last month (as reported by The New York Post (NYP) that he was going to end his life by assisted suicide at the Zurich headquarters of Dignitas. The non-profit organization legally gives fatal drugs to those who suffer from terminal illnesses.
Fleischman, who lived in Marina Del Ray – began experiencing symptoms and health complications back in 2016. He had an undiagnosed neurological disease, which got progressively worse over the years. He was in a wheelchair at the time of his death as the disease rendered him unable to care for himself.
In a statement to the NYP in June – in which he discussed his wishes for assistant suicide, Fleischman said, “I can’t walk, my speech is f*cked up and I can’t do anything for myself. My wife helps me get into bed and I can’t dress or put shoes on my shoes. I am taking a gentle way out. It is the easiest way out for me.”
Former Century Club owner, Daniel Fitzgerald (who co-owned the club with Fleischman from the mid-’90s until 2007) told BBC News: “I guess he was in more pain than we knew.”
Fleischman assumed sole control of Studio 54 in New York City after the original owners were jailed for tax evasion. He ran the club until 1986. In his memoir, Inside Studio 54, released in 2017, he said, “From the very first night we opened in 1981, I was swept up in a world of celebrities, drugs, power, and sex.”
Studio 54 opened in 1977 as disco was everywhere. “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 in his book.
In an exclusive with the NYP, Mimi gives a detailed description of his last day here on earth.
“There is a 30-minute wait until you drink the sodium pentothal,” said Mimi. “He could have laid down, but sitting at the table seemed very OK. We were left alone and talked about the fact that I would continue to see Mark and feel him in my life. I remember there was a clock on the table. It was 10:55. Mark said to go get the nurse. He was ready. I told him that it was not a half-hour yet. But I went and got her.
“They asked Mark if he was ready and he said, ‘Yes,’” continued Mimi. “Then they gave him the potion.” Moments later, he was asleep, then he checked out from this life and went on to what he had come to believe is the next one. Mimi remained at his side.
“I stayed for another hour, to be with him,” she said. “I had all the mixed feelings. There was happiness for him that he could do it and that I could support him. I touched Mark. I realized that I am not going to touch him again. These were the last touches.”
Fleischman’s body will be cremated in Switzerland and forwarded to his widow in California. He is survived by his wife Mimi, and three children.