MONTREAL (CelebrityAccess) — Rick Genest, the heavily tattooed actor and musician who was the subject of Lada Gaga’s 2011 hit “Born This Way” has died after a fall. He was 32.
Genest, who was popularly known as “Zombie Boy” was found dead at his Montreal apartment after falling from a fourth floor balcony on August 2nd, but it is unclear if his death was accidental, or intentional.
According to TMZ, Montreal law enforcement sources are suggesting that he intentionally jumped from the balcony, but his management company, Ducledo Managmenet, released a statement that said a determination has yet to be made.
Genest’s manager, Karim Leduc told TMZ that his family believes the death was accidental and noted that he often liked to lean against the railing. They also cite the lack of a suicide note, which his family believes he would have left if he intended to kill himself, Leduc told TMZ.
However, shortly before his death, he posted a cryptic and admittedly ominous poem to his Facebook page.
A native of LaSalle, Quebec, he had a full body tattoo of a skeleton and made an early living as an “illustrated man” at sideshows around Canada. His act earned him some early media coverage, including a June 2008 feature in ‘Bizarre’ magazine, as well as a role in the 2009 television film Carny, starring Lou Diamond Phillips as a small town sheriff.
He broke through to mainstream public awareness in 2011 when he appeared in the music video for Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video with Lady G donning makeup to simulate Genest’s elaborate tattoos.
His profile from the video helped to land him work as a fashion model, and he was featured in French designer Thierry Mugler Autumn/Winter men’s collection. He also became a spokesman for several cosmetics companies, including L’Oreal.
Musically, he collaborated with British solo artist KAV on the single “Dirty Rejects” and started working on a full collaborative album, but the project never came to fruition.
In 2015, he began collaborating with ex Rob Zombie guitarist Mike Riggs on an album. While a medley video of material from the album was released, the album, like his work with KAV, never came to light.
A statement from his management company released today said:
“The whole dulcedo family is shocked and pained by this tragedy. Zombie Boy, Rico, was loved by all those who had the chance to meet him and know him.
“Icon of the artistic scene and the fashion world, this innovator, against popular culture, has been able to charm all hearts.
“We received the unfortunate news at the beginning of the afternoon and members of the team have come to support his family and relatives in this dark and difficult moment.
“We want to present our deepest condolences and the legend will survive human. Thank you zb for these beautiful moments in your company and for your radiant smile.”