German-Swiss photographer Gunter Sachs has committed suicide at his home in the mountain resort of Gstaad after suffering from an incurable disease.
Sachs’ body was found on Saturday at his Swiss chalet. Police said the 78-year-old photographer-industrialist shot himself.
The great-grandchild of the founder of the car maker Opel, Sachs was married to film star Brigitte Bardot from 1966-1969.
He gained international fame as a documentary filmmaker and photographer, and was passionately interested in astrology.
His glamorous lifestyle helped give St Moritz its reputation as a jetset resort, living for years in a tower suite of the village's Palace hotel, and founding its legendary Dracula night club in 1974. He became a Swiss citizen in 1976.
In a statement released Sunday by his family at his request, Sachs said he chose to end his life after concluding that he was suffering from an incurable
degenerative disease affecting his memory and ability to communicate.
"That threat was for me always the only criterion for putting an end to my life," he said.
Swiss business magazine Bilanz estimated his fortune at SFr300-400 million ($340-$455 million).
swissinfo.ch and agencies