Gunter Sachs, 14.11.1932 - 07.05.2011
The heir to a German car fortune shot himself at his luxury chalet on Gstaad on Saturday. He was 78.
According to a farewell note released on Sunday that 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”.
Sachs added that he had always regarded any “threat” he would face “as the only criteria that would lead me to bring my life to an end”.
In the 1960s, the philanthropist, photographer, mathematician and art collector put the French Riviera resort of Saint Tropez on the map as a playground for the rich and beautiful.
Sachs was the grandson of the founder of Germany’s car giant Opel and became a celebrity playboy when he became the third of Brigitte Bardot’s husbands in 1966.
After meeting her he paid for a helicopter fly over her famous Cote d’Azur home, La Madrague, and shower it with hundreds of red roses.
“It’s not every day that a man drops a tonne of roses in your yard,” she later wrote.