Lady Gaga‘s friend and model Rick “Zombie Boy” Genest, who co-starred in her “Born This Way” video, died of apparent suicide, the singer confirmed. He was 32.
Lady Gaga has apologized for assuming that Rick ‘Zombie Boy’ Genest’s death was a suicide.
The 32-year-old Canadian model and artist was found dead in his Montreal apartment Wednesday. Dulcedo Management, an agency representing Genest, confirmed his death on Facebook on Thursday, describing their client’s death simply as a tragedy.
On Thursday, Lady Gaga mourned her friend’s death, tweeting “the suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating.” She went on to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health.
The pop superstar has since backtracked from her original tweet, which she deleted.
On Saturday, Lady Gaga tweeted: “Out of respect for Rick’s family, Rick & his legacy I apologize if I spoke too soon as there was no witnesses or evidence to support any conclusion for the cause of his death. I in no way meant to draw an unjust conclusion My deepest condolences to his entire family and friends.”
Genest’s manager said he doubts his client’s death was a suicide.
On Saturday his manager, Karim Leduc, told USA TODAY he believed Genest’s fall from his third-floor apartment balcony was an accident.
“I’ve been on that balcony before. It’s an emergency balcony, and it’s supposed to be locked. It’s a fire hazard exit so the rail guard is extremely low,” he explained. “I’m exactly his height, five foot ten and a half inches and that rail guard comes … low, below the hips.”
Leduc said Genest was going outside for a smoke, which was usual.
“So he goes on the backside of the balcony and sort of sits on the rail guard,” he said. “And from what we know, he fell on his backside … He could have just lost balance.”
No suicide note also pointed Leduc to believe it was not a suicide.
“Not leaving a suicide note to anybody is very unusual. He wrote to me every day,” he said. “He was very expressive.”
Leduc says an autopsy showed no drugs in Genest’s system and that a coroner is analyzing video footage of the area where his death took place for more insight into the cause.
Genest’s family will be releasing an official statement in the coming days with more details.
When reached by USA TODAY Friday, the Montreal police department would not publicly comment on Genest’s cause of death.
In another tweet Saturday, Lady Gaga said she was “emotional” during her initial tweets following the loss of her friend.
“The art we made was sacred to me and I was emotional, he was an incredible artist and his art and heart will live on. Rest In Peace You beautiful soul,” she wrote.
Contributing: Cydney Henderson
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