Studio 54 owner dies by assisted suicide

Mark Fleischman had asked to be euthanized in Switzerland, where it is legal.

Mark Fleischman has died by assisted suicide in Zurich, as he wanted. He had been asking for euthanasia for some time. He chose Switzerland because it is legal there, and there is also an organization called Dignitas that facilitates the whole process. The procedure was told by Studio54's owner himself: a lethal dose of barbiturates has ended his life. In 2016 he began to suffer from a disease that specialists did not know how to diagnose. At first, it was suggested that it was Parkinson's, because he was dragging his left leg, but due to his evolution they moved away from that first diagnosis without being able to specify what was the cause of that condition.

For some time, Fleischman had been calling for assisted suicide because he said that his worsening standard of living made him want to die as soon as possible. At 82 years of age, he has put an end to his days, in which he acknowledged that there had been a lot of partying, alcohol and drugs. In one of his last statements to The New York Post he said that day to day life was unbearable:

“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.”

Studio 54, the trendy nightclub

Mark Fleischman was quite a personality in New York's most famous circles. He founded Studio 54 in 1977, and it quickly became the club everyone wanted to go to. The place had previously been a discotheque that was also used as a recording studio, and had the name CBS Studio 52. But it was thanks to the charisma of Mark Fleischman that this club became famous; it was renamed Studio 54 (in allusion to the fact that it was located on 54th Street in Manhattan, New York).

Some of the regular clients of Studio 54 were: Madonna, Diana Ross, Mick and Bianca Jagger, Donna Summer, Salvador Dalí, Liza Minnelli, fashion designer Halston, or Brooke Shields. Several stars such as Warren Beatty, Cher, Woody Allen, Frank Sinatra, Elizabeth Taylor, Truman Capote or Andy Warhol. It closed its doors in 1986, although it had certain ups and downs throughout its history, in many cases related to controversies about drug use.