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Former Studio 54 Owner's Widow Describes Watching Him Die

Former Studio 54 Owner's Widow Describes Watching Him Die

Mark Fleischmann's widow has shared his last moments

Mark Fleischman's widow has shared how the former Studio 54 owner found religion just before he died by assisted suicide on 13 July, after he came down with a mystery illness.

Mark Fleischman, 82, spent $15,000 to travel to Zurich, where he attended the famous Dignitas suicide clinic.

Fleischman consumed a lethal dose of Sodium Pentothal to end his life, after two years of suffering with an illness that doctors were unable to diagnose. The mystery illness left the former Studio 54 owner unable to move unaided.

Mimi Fleischman spoke to the New York Post about the "surreal experience" of watching her husband of 27 years die.

She said: "We looked at each other like, 'This is crazy in a way'. My feeling was, 'Wow. I can't believe this is happening'."

Mimi and Mark Fleischman had been married for 27 years.
Getty Images

Fleischman's wife told the Post that her husband was firm in his decision to go through with his assisted suicide.

She added: "There was always the option that he would change his mind; but in reality, it was the opposite. By the time we got on the plane to Zurich, he was adamant. He made a decision and this was what he wanted to do, even as friends read about Mark and asked him not to do it. But Mark wanted to die on his own terms."

Despite not wavering in his decision to go through with his assisted suicide, his wife noted that his religious beliefs changed towards the end.

"Mark used to not believe in God at all. He was a complete atheist. He started to believe in God during the last few weeks. I believe in God. Mark came to believe that there is life after death. He made a change in his belief system about the continuation of existence," she explained.

The couple travelled to Switzerland on Sunday. They had hoped to explore the city of Zurich but Fleischmann's immobility made it difficult.

The pair travelled to Dignitas in Switzerland together.
Getty Images

When they arrived at the Dignitas suicide clinic, staff ensured that Fleischmann was making his own choice. He told the nurse: "Yes. I am ready to drink this."

There was a 30-minute wait before Fleischman drank the Sodium Pentothal, and his wife stayed by his side until he passed away.

Describing her final moments with her husband, she said: "I stayed for another hour, to be with him. 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 realised that I am not going to touch him again. These were the last touches. I didn't cry. I was overwhelmed and relieved that he is free."

Fleischman ran Studio 54 when it was one of the biggest night clubs on the planet. He was known for spending time with the likes of the Rolling Stones, Robin Williams, Rick James and John Belushi. 

He detailed the struggles of his mystery illness a few weeks before his death, saying: "I can't walk, my speech is f**ked up and I can't do anything for myself. 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."

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images/Alamy