12/30/2003 at 12:00 AM EST
The fabled professional partnership of Siegfried & Roy is officially over, an emotional Siegfried Fischbacher admits in a "20/20" interview to air Friday.
In stark contrast to the earlier optimism he had expressed, Fischbacher responds to Barbara Walters's question about whether the final curtain has come down on the famed Siegfried & Roy wild-animal show by casting his eyes downward and replying, "Yes," reports the Las Vegas Sun.
The interview marks the first time that it has been confirmed that the historic professional partnership is finally over.
As for whether or not he would ever seek out another stage partner, Fischbacher, 65, says: "No. I would not want to go through everything I went through with Roy with another person. I realize how important he was in my life."
Roy Horn, 59, returned to the Las Vegas home he shares with Fischbacher on the Monday before Christmas, according to the Associated Press. While at home, he was said to be continuing his rehabilitation under the care of a team of doctors and therapists.
Horn's spokesman, Dave Kirvin, said at the time that the entertainer arrived on the afternoon of Dec. 22 from the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, where he was undergoing treatment after being mauled by a 300-pound white tiger on stage at the Mirage Hotel and Casino in Vegas on Oct. 3.
Doctors have released few details since the incident, though it has been widely reported that Horn suffered a stroke afterwards and lost a profuse amount of blood. He has also shown signs of improvement, family spokesmen have said.
All along, Fischbacher has downplayed Horn's injuries, giving TV interviews and describing his partner's wound as "a little punch hole" on the left side of his neck. Fischbacher has said a stroke Horn suffered afterward resulted from blood pressure medication that sometimes made him feel faint.
In response to Walters's questions about Horn's current medical condition, Fischbacher says Horn is "moving," "writing" and "standing up" (though not yet walking), and relates an anecdote of Horn's reminding Fischbacher to wear a specific blue Versace jacket for the interview.
Asked if the two are lovers, Fischbacher tells Walters that he loves Roy "like a brother."