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Model Rick "Zombie Boy" Genest Dies By Possible Suicide

Editor's Note

If you experience suicidal thoughts or have lost someone to suicide, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

Update: This story has been updated with Lady Gaga’s tweet apologizing for speaking too soon about Rick Genest’s cause of death and other information from Genest’s manager.

Rick “Zombie Boy” Genest has died at the age of 32, according to a tweet posted by Lady Gaga late Thursday evening. Genest, who lived in Montreal, Canada, rose to fame after appearing alongside Lady Gaga in her “Born This Way” music video.

On Saturday, August 4, Gaga deleted the above tweet and another one about Genest and tweeted out an apology for the tweets. Gaga said she apologizes if she “spoke too soon as there was no witnesses or evidence to support any conclusion for the cause of his death.”

Gaga’s tweet came after Genest’s manager Karim Leduc told People that he and Genest’s family believe the death was accidental. According to Leduc, Genest’s cause of death is not confirmed yet. Montreal police have yet to comment on the cause of death, and Genest’s family will release a statement in the coming days.

After appearing in Gaga’s video, Genest went on to model for fashion designers and in runway shows around the world. Genest was well known on social media, where he had hundreds of thousands of followers. Genest also holds the Guinness World Record for most insect tattoos and the most human bone tattoos.

“We have to work harder to change the culture, bring Mental Health to the forefront and erase the stigma that we can’t talk about it,” Gaga wrote of her friend’s passing, before deleting her original tweets. The singer posted another now-deleted tweet adding, “Reach out if you’re in pain, and if you know someone who is, reach out to them too.”

If this news is hard for you, know you are not alone — and there is help for people who feel suicidal. You can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

This article will be updated as more information becomes available. 

Header image via Lady Gaga’s Twitter.

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