09:02 EST 30 December 2012
The family of a Manhattan gallery owner described their pain after receiving a suicide note following her death.
Marijana Bego, 54, was found lying in the middle of Madison Avenue after falling from the top of the five-story building on the Upper East Side, home to her Bego-Ezair gallery.
Ms Bego had been facing mounting debt and personal problems in the months before her fatal fall, it has been revealed.
The letter, which was mailed to her niece, described Ms Bego’s heartbreak at the end of her relationship with Khedouri Ezair several years ago. He had been her boyfriend and business partner for two decades, according to the New York Post.
The medical examiner declared her December 22 death a suicide.
Several days after her death, Ms Bego’s niece Ivana Ristic received a letter from her aunt in Serbia.
The gallery owner wrote to her niece that she had ‘no husband, no kids, no savings, no health insurance, no any support’.
Ms Ristic told the Post: ‘She was my support, my sun, my doll, my role model.
‘When I was little I wrote in my diary that I’d love to have her for mom.’
Artist Amy Cohen Banker, who had an exhibition at the gallery earlier this month, said Ms Bego had been left frustrated after a fall in art sales.
She said: ‘But I never ever saw this coming. She had plans to keep the galleries going.
‘It’s hard for me to believe she committed suicide, I feel really shocked that she did that.’
Ms Bego owned two other New York galleries, which were frequently visited by members of high society such as the Hearst family and descendants of Winston Churchill.
Renowned for featuring up-and-coming talent in her galleries, Ms Bego was in business with real estate executive Mr Ezair.
News of her death, which the NYPD first believed was caused by a hit-and-run accident because if severe injuries to her legs, sent shockwaves through the New York art scene.
Artist Wanda Murphy said Ms Bego sold one of her paintings for $30,000.
‘Her focus in life was art,’ she said. ‘That’s all she ever lived for.’
R. Couri Hay, whose PR firm represented Ms Bego’s gallery had known her for ten years, and added she was always ‘extremely high-strung and eccentric, and kind of kooky’.
Earlier this year, Ms Bego celebrated her 300th art opening, with a collection of oil works by Lash called Imagined Memories – A Family Album.
Ms Bego was pronounced dead at Lenox Hill Hospital, having suffered multiple injuries.
Calls to Mr Ezair’s Manhattan offices were not returned to MailOnline.
If you know anyone who is at risk of suicide, call the U.S. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or in the UK, the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90
using the number/letter grid:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A B C D E F G H I
J K L M N O P Q R
S T U V W X Y Z
A = 1 J = 1 S = 1
B = 2 K = 2 T = 2
C = 3 L = 3 U = 3
D = 4 M = 4 V = 4
E = 5 N = 5 W = 5
F = 6 O = 6 X = 6
G = 7 P = 7 Y = 7
H = 8 Q = 8 Z = 8
I = 9 R = 9
41991151 2576 51
her path of destiny = 51 = Facing facts. Harsh reality. Fatal fall.
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