A California widow has parted with one of the last tangible reminders of her husband, who took his own life, so she might help save the lives of others.
Over the weekend, Susan Futterman sold her late husband’s prized Lamborghini at auction for $522,500 and gave the proceeds to an Oakland-based charity that works to prevent suicide.
Futterman believes her husband, Frederic Paroutaud, would still be alive if there were better access to and knowledge about mental health services. His death in 2012 followed a sudden psychotic episode two months earlier.
Paroutaud wrote music for television, stage, and movies including “Murder, She Wrote” and adaptations of “The Phantom of the Opera.”
He bought the car from it’s original owner when he was still an unknown musician in 1989, two years before the couple met. Futterman has been writing a book about their experiences, and says the sports car plays a prominent role throughout their time together. That helped her decide it would be best if the car helped others facing the same mental health issues as her husband did.
The Lamborghini 400GT 2+2 is one of only 250 of its kind. It was auctioned at the annual Pebble Beach car show, which attracts collectors from around the world. Comedian and car collector Jay Leno personally presented the car for auction, after having years ago met the couple through Paroutaud’s online Lamborghini club.
“She’s creating a legacy for a really creative and beautiful person,” said Frances Raeside, program director of the nonprofit recipient, La Cheim Behavioral Health Services. “It’s a great act of courage on Susan’s part, letting go of the car that’s sitting in her garage and was a constant reminder of her husband.”
(READ more at the Contra Costa Times) — Photo: Rex Gray, CC