THE co-founder of Gaydar, the world's most popular gay online dating site jumped to his death from an eighth-floor balcony after taking ketamine, an inquest in London heard yesterday.
Gary Frisch, who co-created the Gaydar dating website in 1999, threw himself from the balcony of his apartment in Battersea in February after an all-night session on the drug, also known as ‘special K’. Frisch founded the website with Henry Badenhorst, his business partner and former lover.
An eyewitness said Mr Frisch shouted "wahey!" moments before he plunged to his death. The 38-year-old had been receiving treatment for depression after the death of his mother and spent the weeks leading up to his death on a chemical binge.
The results of the inquest come in the week that Gaydar announced the launch of GaydarNation incorporating GaydarGirls, Gaydar.co.uk and GaydarRadio with Rainbow Network into a free interactive portal. The dating site has also made inroads into the leisure industry with the launch of ‘Profile’ a 3-floor bar in the heart of Soho.
The news of his death garnered more copy than he ever invited in his lifetime as Frisch was famously private. He rarely gave interviews and on the occasions that he spoke to the press, it was through an intermediary and publicity shots were consistently unavailable.
Darren Morris, who had been staying with Mr Frisch on the day he died, told the coroner's court in Westminster:
"I saw him standing on the balcony with his hands on the rail. He somersaulted over the top."
A pathologist, Dr Peter Wilkins, said raised levels of ketamine were found in Mr Frisch's blood and liver.
He added: "It can have similar effects to LSD: confusion and hallucinations."
Police were said to have found five grams of the drug in his luxury apartment. Infamous as dissociative anesthetic for human and veterinary use, the drug became popular as a recreational drug in the ‘90s.
Ketamine users report being less connected to both a sense of self and the reality around them. A high dose can induce a "K-hole", a state of almost inexplicable strangeness and a window onto dimensions that can be both terrifying and euphoric.
Recording a verdict of misadventure, Dr Paul Knapman, the coroner, said: "I don't think it can be said he intended to kill himself."