Who was Mark Fleischman's wife? Mimi Leonard was by legendary Studio 54 founder's side when he died
Mark Fleischman, the owner of the famous Midtown nightclub Studio 54, reportedly died by assisted suicide, aged 82. Fleischman became unwell in 2016, following which he was unable to walk and his speech was impaired. He owned Studio 54 and partied with people like Andy Warhol, Calvin Klein, Halston, Liza Minelli, and Cher.
Born on February 1, 1940, the nightlife mogul's first high-profile business venture was taking over the Forest Hills Inn when he was only in his 20s. He took it over with the help of his father. He later bought Studio 54 from its previous owners Ian Schrager and Steve Rubell.
“I can’t walk, my speech is f**ked up, and I can’t do anything for myself,” Fleischman told New York Post in June. “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.” His lifestyle reportedly took a toll on his health. “I liked to be high. So I would do drugs and drink. Possibly, this [health condition] is because I drank a lot and did drugs,” Fleischman said.
Who was Mark Fleischman's wife?
It was earlier reported that Fleischman's wife Mimi Leonard Fleischman would be by his side throughout the Switzerland trip, which is where he decided to end his life. Fleischman and Mimi met in New York City during the 1970s and got married in 1994.
Mimi had two children from a previous relationship -- Adam and Juliet -- at the time. By then Fleischman had also been divorced from his first wife Laurie Lister. Describing her husband's struggles with his health, Mimi had once reportedly said, "It is worse than not being able to walk. Mark doesn’t have balance. He drops things and does not know where his body is in space.” Of his decision to end his life, she had said, according to The Focus, "It is the end of a part of me as well. I have to honor what he wants.”
According to Mimi's LinkedIn profile, she is the director of LA studios. "My husband Mark Fleischman and I bought the Southern California rights to The Bar Method in the fall of 2002. We opened our West LA studio on February 1, 2003, the West Hollywood studio in March 2005, and Bar Method Brentwood in July 2010. We helped to establish Bar Method Exercise Studios in 13 other locations in Southern California before selling our SoCal rights back to the Bar Method Group at Headquarters. Our three studios in Bar Method Los Angeles provide more than 10,000 client visits each month," she has written of her work.
Mimi previously served as creative director of Tatou Supper Clubs, and promoter of Jerry and Mimi Rubin Projects. She also worked as a promoter of Studio 54 from 1981 to 1983. She attended The Hewitt School and later, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Fleischman traveled to Switzerland after many years of suffering. This is where he took a lethal dose of barbiturates. Daniel Fitzgerald, who co-owned the Century Club in Los Angeles with Fleischman in the 1990s and 2000s, told BBC News, "I guess he was in more pain than we knew." Fleischman was suffering from an illness that doctors were unable to diagnose and thus, unable to help cure.
Fleischman worked with the nonprofit Dignitas, which launched in 1998. The organization helps people die by suicide when their health is failing. “The more I think about it, the more I want to do it,” Fleischman had said. “I am flying direct to Zurich from LA. There will be no last party.”
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).