Gunter Sachs, a German-born photographer and playboy has killed himself at age 78 in Switzerland.

"/> Gunter Sachs, a German-born photographer and playboy has killed himself at age 78 in Switzerland.

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Brigitte Bardot’s ex commits suicide

Gunter Sachs, a German-born photographer and playboy has killed himself at age 78 in Switzerland.

Sachs, best known for his glamorous lifestyle and for marrying French icon Brigitte Bardot in the 60s, was found in his chalet in Gstaad, a glitzy alpine resort that is home to many VIPs and celebrities.

He was suffering from an incurable degenerative disease, thought to be Alzheimer’s, and died from a gunshot wound to the head, according to Swiss and international reports.

Sachs’ relatives released a suicide note to Swiss media in which he explained he took his life because of an illness he dubbed “A.”

“The loss of mental control over my life was an undignified condition, which I decided to counter decisively,” the letter signed by Sachs said. He called it the “no hope illness A,” Swiss news agency SDA reported.

Sachs gained fame for his work as an industrialist, film-maker and photographer, and for marrying Bardot in Las Vegas in 1966 in his second marriage. They got a divorce after three years and Sachs re-married. He had three children.

He lived for years in the Swiss village of St. Moritz, contributing to the resort’s exclusive image, and became a Swiss citizen in 1976, reports said. Later in his life, he developed a passion for astrological research, commissioning studies on the correlation of the stars and human behaviour.



Switzerland backs assisted suicide in prisons

Sick prisoners will be allowed to request assisted suicide in Switzerland although the modalities still have to be worked out, prison system officials said on Thursday.

Switzerland backs assisted suicide in prisons
Illustration photo: AFP

The issue has come to the fore following a request made in 2018 by a convict behind bars for life, which exposed a legal vacuum in a country that has long been at the forefront of the global right-to-die debate.

Switzerland's cantons, which implement prison sentences, have agreed “on the principle that assisted suicide should be possible inside prisons,” the Conference of Cantonal Departments of Justice and Police said.

Conference director Roger Schneeberger told AFP that there were still differences between cantons on how assisted suicides could be carried out in prisons and a group of experts would issue recommendations by November.

Swiss law generally allows assisted suicide if the person commits the lethal act themselves — meaning doctors cannot administer deadly injections, for example — and the person consistently and independently articulates a wish to die.

Organisations that support assisted suicide also apply their own procedures, which are more robust than the legal requirements and sometimes require the person who is requesting it to have a serious illness.