Berlin - Gunter Sachs, Brigitte Bardot's ex-husband, reportedly killed himself because of an illness.
Sachs, the grandson of the founder of car giant Opel and a billionaire philanthropist and art collector, killed himself at his Swiss chalet on May 7.
His family said on Sunday that he took his own life due to sickness.
released a suicide note to Swiss media written by Sachs in which he
explained he took his life because of an illness he dubbed "A".
French screen idol Brigitte Bardot said on Thursday she was
devastated and shocked by the weekend suicide of her former husband.
"I cannot understand
what he did. Nobody expected it," Bardot, 76, told German magazine
Bunte, saying she had been "literally destroyed" by the news that
78-year-old Sachs took his own life.
said that although their marriage broke up in 1969 after just three
years - he was the last of her three husbands - the couple had remained
Generous and friendly
"Gunter - that was a
wonderful period of my life. After we split up he never stopped proving
how generous and friendly he was," Bardot said.
"I think Gunter had a special tenderness for me because I never asked him for anything. When we were together I paid my way."
few hours after meeting her for the first time in 1966 he had a
helicopter fly over La Madrague, her villa on the French Riviera, and
shower it with hundreds of red roses. They married a few weeks later in
had three sons and married a former Swedish model in 1969. He lost his
first wife to a medical error in 1958, the same year his father shot and