Singer Lady Gaga earlier this week reacted to the unexpected death of her former collaborator, fashion model Rick Genest, by calling for increased mental health awareness in response to what she said was Genest’s “suicide,” as the Inquisitr reported on Thursday.
But just two days later, it appears that the death of Genest — better known as “Zombie Boy” for his elaborate and macabre facial and body tattoos that gave him the appearance of a living skeleton — was likely not a suicide at all. Lady Gaga has deleted her initial Twitter message, posting instead an apology to the 32-year-old model’s family, who is also reported to believe that Genest’s death was a tragic accident.
Genest was found dead on Wednesday after an apparent fall from a third-floor balcony outside his Montreal, Canada, apartment. He left no suicide note, and his manager, Karim Leduc, told USA Today that Genest’s death was most likely the result of an accident.
“He goes on the backside of the balcony and sort of sits on the rail guard,” Leduc told the paper, saying the Genest frequently went on to the balcony to smoke cigarettes. “And from what we know, he fell on his backside… He could have just lost balance.”
TMZ initially reported that “Zombie Boy” had “jumped” to his death.
“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,” Lady Gaga, whose given name is Stephanie Germanotta, write on her Twitter account Saturday. “I in no way meant to draw an unjust conclusion My deepest condolences to his entire family and friends.”
The 32-year-old “Born This Way” singer posted a tribute, in a subsequent Twitter post.
“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.”
Genest appeared in the 2011 Lady Gaga music video accompanying her hit single, “Born This Way.” The video may be viewed on this page, below.
The video appearance was the big career break for Genest, who quickly began to receive offers for modeling opportunities with prominent fashion designers and manufacturers, according to the Mirror. He appeared in magazines such as Vanity Fair and GQ, and modeled for the Rocawear fashion line owned by rapper and entrepreneur Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter.