David Gest was found dead in a hotel room in London on Tuesday morning. According to TMZ, Gest was staying at the Four Seasons Hotel at the Canary Wharf where he was found in his room. A cause of death is unknown at this time, but an autopsy has been scheduled. Gest was just 62-years-old.
“Police were called at 10:17 on Tuesday to the Four Seasons Hotel, to reports of an unexplained death of a man in his 60s. London ambulance service were called to the scene,” the police said.
He was reportedly already dead when EMTs arrived at the hotel. It is unknown if any attempts to revive him were made. Authorities say that Gest’s death did not appear to be suspicious.
David Gest was married to Liza Minnelli from 2002 to 2007. He worked as an American producer and was also a UK television personality. Earlier this year, Gest was on Celebrity Big Brother, but he left after two weeks due to health issues.
According to the Daily Mail, Gest was scheduled to head out on tour in just three months time.
A friend released a statement confirming the tragic news.
“It is with great sadness that I can confirm that David Gest has died today. David was truly larger than life. He was not just a huge talent and a dear friend but a showbiz icon. I know he will be missed by millions of fans around the world, and particularly in Britain, who came to love his charm and blistering one-liners. If I may steal the words of one eminent critic, David was a natural star and a genuine celebrity. I will miss him desperately,” said Imad Handi.
David Gest reportedly struggled with various health issues over the past few years, although it’s unclear what he had been suffering from. He recently decided to leave the United States for good and took up full-time residence in York.
“I will never go back to LA; I will die here and want to be buried in York. I love this country much more than my own,” Gest said after making the move.
David Gest was childhood friends with Michael Jackson. In fact, Gest produced the highest-rated musical television special back in 2001, featuring Jackson. Michael Jackson: 30th Anniversary Celebration: The Solo Years captured Michael’s last solo concert before his death. Gest previously admitted to going under the knife twice after Michael Jackson recommended a plastic surgeon.
Gest was also known for being the first American to have three primetime series’ in the UK, which was a huge accomplishment.
David Gest’s relationship with Liza Minnelli was quite tumultuous. They were only married for a short amount of time, and Gest accused Minnelli of being physically abusive towards him.
“The marriage between the Oscar winner and the TV producer was marked by awkward public displays of affection. They married in 2002 and separated 18 months later. After their split, he sued her for $10 million claiming she physically assaulted him during their relationship; she countersued over claims he’d stolen $2 million in earnings from her performances. They finally filed for divorce in 2007,” reports the Daily Mail.
Liza Minnelli has not yet released a statement following news of David Gest’s passing.
Updates to follow.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]