Mark Fleischmann owned the legendary Studio 54 in New York. When he celebrated, it was with alcohol, drugs and the stars. He loved excess, full life. Now he wants to take drugs again – the trip should be his last.
Studio 54 was once one of the most famous nightclubs in the world. Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger, Truman Capote and Elizabeth Taylor danced there. The store was the place to be in the 80s. The king of the nightlife was the club owner Mark Fleischmann. A legend in the scene. And a bon vivant who didn’t shy away from a party himself. He coke with Robin Williams, drank with John Belushi and threesomes were commonplace. Fleischmann lived life in the fast lane and drugs kept his engine running. It should also be drugs that finally bring this engine to a standstill.
“I can’t walk anymore, my speech is disturbed and I can’t do anything for myself anymore,” says Fleischmann in an exclusive interview with the “New York Post”. The 82-year-old is in a wheelchair and relies on his wife’s help. “My wife helps me get into bed and I can’t get dressed or put my shoes on,” he says. As he reports, Fleischmann has been suffering from an illness that has not yet been named since 2016. The doctors are helpless. “The doctors originally thought he had a form of Parkinson’s, but that’s not it, nobody knows what he has,” said his wife Mimi.
“I’ve done everything, been everywhere”
“If I hadn’t lived the way I lived and hadn’t had as much fun as I did, maybe it would be different,” he says. “Right now I’m like a vegetable.” And that’s why Fleischmann made a decision. In a few weeks he wants to end his torment with one last, lethal dose of drugs as part of an assisted suicide in Switzerland. “I have a drink, fall asleep and that’s it,” he says. A non-profit organization that helps people who are in poor health to choose their own deaths will stand by his side. And Mimi, his wife, will also be by his side, as she has been for 27 years.
He took two years to make this difficult decision. What he does is no shame. He says: “I’ve done everything, been everywhere and met everyone I wanted to meet.” Studio 54 was his kingdom. After owners Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell were convicted of tax evasion in 1980, Fleischmann took over the club from his friends.
Fleischmann: “I have no regrets”
“Once you owned Studio 54, suddenly you were semi-celebrity,” says Fleischman. At 4 a.m. he got into the limousine with a group of people and drove to the Crisco Disco, used drugs and continued partying. “There was great music and there was sex everywhere. I went there to pick up women. All the women who went there were easy to get,” he says.
For five years, Fleischmann indulged in the dissolute life, then it was over. In 1986 he went to the Betty Ford Center and went into rehab. “It can destroy you. You can only live like this for a certain amount of time,” says Fleischmann. “I liked being high. So I used drugs and drank. It’s possible that this [health condition] is because I drank a lot and used drugs.” Nevertheless, he regrets nothing, not a part of his life.
What: New York Post
Do you have suicidal thoughts? The telephone counseling service offers help. She can be reached anonymously, free of charge and around the clock on 0 800 / 111 0 111 and 0 800 / 111 0 222. Advice via e-mail is also possible. A list of nationwide help centers can be found on the website of the German Society for Suicide Prevention.
For children and young people, the number against grief is also available from Monday to Saturday from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. – the number is 116 111.