The suite at The Four Seasons in London where David Gest was found dead Tuesday overlooked the Thames. It was a beautiful room and was always set aside for him.
Gest, an entertainer and producer, had been staying at the four-star hotel for the past six months and it seems the staff had grown fond of him. But David rarely ventured outside the suite, a source told The Evening Standard.
“Sometimes he would go downstairs to smoke. But most people didn’t see him. He was always inside that room. He didn’t go out. He always had heavy makeup on.
Early this week Gest’s secretary tried to get the celeb on the phone, but he never answered. She became worried.
“His secretary couldn’t find him – she tried calling for two days. She called security and the hotel manager asking them to check his room. They couldn’t find him at all,” the source said. “They went to check his room and he was in the sitting room, lying on the floor of the suite. They called the police. It’s really sad. Everybody was shocked.”
His body was removed in the afternoon. The anonymous source said that Gest’s favorite housekeeper was so “devastated” she was told to go home. According to another source, plenty of hotel staff were “crying because they knew him so well,” The Mirror added.
David Gest was pronounced dead in his hotel suite Tuesday morning, NBC News reported. He was 62-years-old and police haven’t yet released a cause of death. An autopsy will be performed, but the authorities don’t suspect foul play.
Gest had been in Britain to work on a musical show called David Gest Is Not Dead, But Alive With Soul, which was scheduled to go on tour in July. David was loved in the U.K., where he appeared on Celebrity Big Brother, a show he had to leave in January due to ill health. He had been sick for a while, according to a friend.
“There’s nothing suspicious. We think it was a heart attack or that his body just gave in. He hadn’t been well for the past two years. He thought he was getting better but had to leave the Celebrity Big Brother house in January because he was so unwell.”
At the same time, other friends have told the newspapers, anonymously, that he spent the last days of his life alone and possibly “strung out” on pills. These friends had last seen David in March and noted that he had been taking numerous medications for “nasty chest problems that just wouldn’t go away.”
Gest also suffered from high blood pressure, for which he took medication, and had been taking sleeping pills for insomnia.
“He always slept at weird times,” the friend said.
The cumulative effect of these medications seemed to have left Gest disoriented, friends said.
“He seemed strung out and went off the radar at times.”
David is probably most famous for his brief stint as Mr. Liza Minnelli, a marriage that crashed and burned almost as quickly as it began. The pair were introduced by Michael Jackson, whom Gest had grown up with; the King of Pop served as best man, Elizabeth Taylor as maid of honor.
At their wedding, Gest said he thought, of Minnelli: “She’s the most beautiful woman in the world. And that this is who I wanted to spend the rest of my life with,” the Washington Post reported.
But only 16 months later, he and his former love were fighting in the courts and in front of the tabloids as a nasty divorce began in 2003. They sued each other; Gest accused Liza of beating him violently, and of giving him herpes. She accused David of trying to poison her and stealing her jewelry. Their divorce was finalized in 2007.
Minelli has yet to react to the death of her fourth — and last — husband. His friend and former bodyguard, Imad Handi, who confirmed his death, called David “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.”
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