Bardot says 'destroyed' by ex-husband's suicide
French screen idol Brigitte Bardot said Thursday she was devastated and shocked by the weekend suicide of her former husband, German-born billionaire playboy Gunter Sachs.
"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 Sachs took his own life in Switzerland on Saturday aged 78.
She 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 close.
"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."
A 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 Las Vegas.
Sachs, the grandson of the founder of car giant Opel and a billionaire philanthropist and art collector, killed himself at his Swiss chalet due to sickness, his family said Sunday.
Relatives released a suicide note to Swiss media written by the swinging sixties celebrity and photographer in which he explained he took his life because of an illness he dubbed "A".
Sachs 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 killed himself.
© 2011 AFP