Balcony fall death of Lady Gaga video model ‘Zombie Boy’ Rick Genest is ruled an accident by coroner in Montreal
Officials in Montreal have ruled that the 2018 death of model Rick Genest was not a suicide as first believed, but rather an accidental death.
Coroner Mélissa Gagnon of the Bureau du Coroner said Monday that the 32-year-old’s fall from a third-story balcony in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal on August 1, 2018 was not intentional.
‘Some close friends reported that he heard voices, particularly when he used substances,’ the coroner said. ‘However, Mr. Genest did not seem to be in a state of psychosis or delirium when he went out on the balcony.’
The latest: Officials in Montreal have ruled that the 2018 death of model Rick Genest was not a suicide as first believed, but rather an accidental death
Genest was ‘highly intoxicated’ at the time of his death, as toxicology results indicated a blood alcohol level almost triple the legal limit, in addition to cannabis, according to the coroner.
‘Considering that habit and his very advanced state of inebriation, it is plausible that Mr. Genest accidentally fell from the balcony,’ the coroner said.
At the time of his death, according to TMZ, his manager Karim Leduc said his family believed it was a tragic accident and that Genest fell, as he would lean back on the railing while smoking. They also say they believe he would have left a suicide note had it been intentional.
Genest starred in Lady Gaga’s music video for Born This Way that was released in February 2011. While the singer had not addressed the latest developments on her social media as of late Monday, after his death last year, she urged anyone suffering from mental health issues to seek help.
Genest became known as Zombie Boy after having tattoos of organs and bones inked across his entire body
Sad end: Genest was ‘highly intoxicated’ at the time of his death, as toxicology results indicated a blood alcohol level almost triple the legal limit, according to the coroner
‘The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating,’ she said. ‘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.
‘If you are suffering, call a friend or family today. We must save each other,’ the singer tweeted to her roughly 77 million followers on Twitter.
She included a photo of Genest and herself from the Born This Way music video.
Beyond devastating: The 32-year-old popular tweeted that Genest’s suicide was ‘beyond devastating’ in August of 2018
Reach out: Lady Gaga urged anyone suffering from mental health issues to reach out for help
Tragic: The heavily tattooed 32-year-old was found dead after plunging from his Montreal apartment in August of 2018
The singer added: ‘Science tells us that it takes 21 days to form a habit, if you are suffering from Mental Health issue I beckon for today to be your first day or a continuation of the work you’ve been doing. Reach out if you’re in pain, and if you know someone who is, reach out to them too.’
The Bad Romance singer also posted another tweet announcing a new partnership with her Born This Way Foundation to promote ‘kindness and mental health’.
‘Kindness and mental health aren’t one time practices. They aren’t just to do list items. This fall, in partnership with @btwfoundation, I’ll explore the power of habits to build cultures of kindness and wellness. Sign up to learn more,’ she posted.
Innovator: Genest started getting tattoos after recovering from brain surgery at the age of 16
Friends said the inked model struggled with mental health issues throughout his life
Genest is shown in January 2011 on the runway during the Thierry Mugler fashion show in Paris
He was also cast in the 2013 fantasy action film 47 Ronin which starred Keanu Reeves, 53
The singer’s stylist Nicola Formichetti discovered Genest in 2010 while also serving as creative director for French fashion designer Thierry Mugler.
The model became known as Zombie Boy for his numerous tattoos depicting the inside of his body on his skin. The skin art included a tattoo of a brain outside his cranium.
Genest was featured in Mugler fashion shows in Paris and New York City in 2011 and later appeared in magazines such as GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue Hommes.
The tattooed model appeared in a DermaBlend advert in 2011 in which he promotes the brand’s concealer and make-up remover.
Genest is pictured before his entire face and head were covered in tattoos
He appeared in a DermaBlend advert in which he promotes the brands concealer and make-up remover
Zombie Boy is seen before and after the concealer is applied in the DermaBlend advert back in 2011
He also was in the 2013 fantasy action film 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves, 53.
Genest started getting tattoos after recovering from brain surgery at age 16 after being on a waiting list for six months. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor at 15.
Friends said he struggled with mental health issues throughout his life.
For confidential support, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-8255 or visit their website here.
Runway star: Zombie Boy is shown modeling in September 2014 in Prague, Czech Republic