The family of tattooed model ‘zombie boy’ insists that his death was accidental – and not suicide, despite what police claim.
Rick Genest, 32, is most famous for starring in Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ video. Since then, Genest has had a successful modeling career, walking runways and posing for high-fashion clients.
Over the last few days, there have been cries of support and mental health awareness regarding his suicide.
Now, the family of the 32-year-old, says that his death was accidental, and not suicide after all.
Genest had fallen off the balcony in his home in Plateu-Mont-Royal. He told his girlfriend he was going out for a cigarette. When he didn’t return, she started to look for him, finally finding him at the base of the balcony.
The family of tattooed model ‘zombie boy’ insists that his death was accidental, speaking through Genest’s manager. His family claims that the balcony in the home was incredibly dangerous, having only a low single rail for protection.
Karim Leduc, the manager, criticizes those who jumped to conclusions early on. He said to People:
“The balcony from which he fell on the third floor was a very dangerous balcony. Just three weeks ago, I visited that balcony with him and was on it with him smoking a cigarette, as well.
“It’s a balcony that has very small rails/guards — an emergency/fire escape balcony – and he was leaning his back towards it like sitting on the ledge of the rail, and he fell from his backside onto the floor.”
In addition, Leduc says that Genest didn’t leave a suicide note, and even had plans in his itinerary for the week.
However, after the incident, many close friends revealed that the model struggled with mental health issues for most of his life.
Lady Gaga, who had featured him in one of her videos, posted a touching tribute to him on Twitter. In addition, she talked about the need to acknowledge mental health issues.
Tattooist Frank Lewis, who was responsible for creating most of Genest’s famous inkings also spoke out about the model’s tragic death, writing:
“R.I.P. my friend i feel like a little part of my soul has left with you, you’ll always be remembered you changed and inspired many lives, see you in the next one, till we meet again.”