Mary Max the wife of pop artist Peter Max who committed suicide on Sunday in their Upper West Side apartment had attempted to take her own life before, friends said.
Multiple sources told Page Six that Mary, 52, had tried to commit suicide years ago and succeeded this past weekend.
She was discovered in the apartment she shared with Peter, 81, on Riverside Drive near West 84th Street on Sunday evening, cops said. The cause of death was said to be nitrogen asphyxiation but remains under investigation.
Sources told Page Six that a May blockbuster New York Times profile on psychedelic artist Peters alleged advanced dementia, and his familys bitter battle to control his life, art and legacy had taken its toll on Mary.
She wasnt happy with it, said a friend about the article, which detailed the legal battle Mary has been in with Peters children since 2015.
For five years and counting . . . the artists family, friends and associates have been trading lurid courtroom allegations of kidnapping, hired goons, attempted murder by Brazil nut, and schemes to wring even more money out of what was already one of the most profitable art franchises in modern times, reported the Times.
The piece recounted how Mary Peters second wife, whom he met in 1996 asked a court to appoint a guardian to oversee her husbands business, and how she alleged that Peters son, Adam, had effectively kidnapped his father.
Adam reportedly fired back that he was protecting his dad from Marys verbal and physical abuse, and the piece said, Several sworn affidavits described [Mary] as a neglectful, even punishing, figure in her husbands life.
The 2015 case was disposed, according to court records, and a judge ordered Peter to remain under Marys care.
His daughter, Libra, recently returned to New York to help the ailing artist.
Mary reportedly left farewell messages with a friend for loved ones, including for her husband, a brother and her 94-year-old mother. A rep for the family did not comment.