• Fri. Mar 3rd, 2023

Family rocked by billionaire’s shock suicide in his office

The family of tragic billionaire Thomas H. Lee, who committed suicide this week in his Manhattan office, is in a “sombre state,” according to a friend.

Friends, neighbours and flowers arrived in a steady stream to the family’s apartment building Saturday, as the financier’s widow Ann was spotted briefly leaving with several friends.

A man who knows the family said the days since Lee’s suicide have been rough, NY Post reported.

“I don’t think it’s a good time because they’re in a sombre state,” said the man, who declined to give his name.

Another resident called for privacy for the family, noting, “They’re suffering.”

Lee, 78, was found on the bathroom floor at his Fifth Ave office by a female assistant Thursday, sources said.

A pal of the Clintons, Lee was once known as the “envy of Wall Street” and believed to be worth an estimated $2 billion when he died.

White flowers, including hydrangeas, were delivered to building for Tenenbaum, who has been married to Lee since 1997.

His body was discovered after the assistant had gone looking for her boss when he hadn’t been heard from, sources said.

First-responders found Lee, who pioneered the leveraged-buyout industry, lying on his side, sources said.

Life-saving efforts at the scene were unsuccessful, and Lee, a father-of-five kids who also had two grandchildren, was pronounced dead at 11:26am, sources said.

Tenenbaum, looking grief-stricken behind large tortoise shell glasses, returned to her residence at around 11:40am. Saturday, shaking her head “no” as she declined comment.

A woman accompanying Ann said “no comment,” holding up her hand in a reporter’s face.

Another neighbour voiced shock at Lee’s suicide.

“I was just in contact with him two days before,” he said, adding “Nobody seems to know” why Lee killed himself.

The city Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Lee’s death a suicide Friday.

Lee was a Harvard grad and also an avid art collector who was on the boards of the Lincoln Centre, NYU Langone and Warner Music, according to Forbes.

By the time he died, Lee’s one-time meteoric career had become a mere footnote in the leveraged-buyout industry he helped create, records show.

This story originally appeared on the NY Post and reproduced with permission

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