Mark Fleischman, 82, died today by assisted suicide at a clinic in Switzerland, his family and friends announced.
Fleischman previously revealed his plans, saying he has a degenerative disease and is in pain.
EARLIER: The man who once ran New York’s nightlife told a news outlet he planned to end the party in July.
Mark Fleischman, who owned Studio 54 in Manhattan, once the most exclusive club in the world, is now 82 and confined to a wheelchair. He told the New York Post that he planned to use Swiss non-profit assisted suicide group Dignitas to end his life on July 13. The group helps assisted suicides with a lethal dose of barbiturates after a lengthy screening process.
“I can’t walk, my speech is screwed up, and there’s nothing I can do for myself,” Fleischman told the Post. “My wife helps me into bed and I can’t get dressed or put on my shoes. I take a soft exit. This is the easiest solution for me. »
Fleischman now resides in Marina Del Ray, California. He said neurologists were unable to diagnose his illness, which began in 2016.
He took over Studio 54 in December 1978 when partners Steve Rubell and Ian Schrager were raided and charged with tax evasion, obstruction of justice and conspiracy. The charges related to skimming nearly $2.5 million in unreported income from the club’s revenue.
Rubell and Schrager were sentenced to 3½ years in prison and fined $20,000 each on the tax evasion charge. They were sent to prison in February 1980, and Studio 54 was sold in November of that year for $4.75 million to Fleischman, who had extensive experience in the hotel and nightlife industry. He reopened it, then resold it in 1984 to new owners.
The club finally closed in 1986.
Fleischman has written a book about his experience for publisher Rare Bird. Inside Studio 54 chronicled place where celebrities, friends and beautiful people sipped champagne and shared lines of cocaine using rolled up hundred dollar bills.
Studio 54 is at the center of a new episode of FX’s American Crime History, now in development. Studio 54: American Crime History will examine the legendary nightclub, which has become a nightlife avatar for the rich and famous.
Fleischman said he had been thinking about suicide for some time.
“I came slowly to the decision,” he said. “Two years ago, I decided it wasn’t worth living. I took a lot of Xanax and ended up in the hospital.
He was then resurrected. But he said, “I read a book about the end of life. I read in there that the easiest way was to suffocate. But I didn’t want the pain. I was going to buy a gun. But my wife intervened. We started looking for a place where it would be legal to find someone to do it with.