Montreal model Rick Genest, known as “Zombie Boy,” has died at the age of 32.
His cause of death was not confirmed by police but singer Lady Gaga called it a “suicide.”
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Genest jumped to fame when he was featured in Lady Gaga’s Born This Way music video and after he modelled for renowned designers such as Thierry Mugler.
He lived on the streets before he was featured on international catwalks.
For some time, Genest admittedly hung out in Montreal’s Viger square and made a living as a squeegee boy.
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He started inking himself at the age of 16 and ended up covering 90 per cent of his body, achieving two Guinness World Records: one for having the most bugs tattooed on his body (176), another for the most bones (139).
The model, also known as “Rico,” had a particular interest in writing, which led him to collaborate on an album with former Rob Zombie guitarist Mike Riggs.
Dulcedo Management, which represented Genest, confirmed his death on Facebook.
“Zombie Boy, RICO, was loved by everyone who had the chance to know and meet him…. the legend will follow the human,” the post read in part.
But in a statement following questions about suicide, Dulcedo said, “at this point we cannot confirm nor deny, there are no witnesses and we must wait for the coroner.
“One thing is for sure, he was not a drug user, and he was sober at the time of the accident.”
His death is being investigated by the Quebec Coroner’s office.
Genest would have turned 33 years old on Aug. 7.
If you or someone you know is in crisis and needs help, resources are available. In case of an emergency, please call 911 for immediate help.
The Canadian Association for Suicide Prevention, Depression Hurts and Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868 all offer ways of getting help if you, or someone you know, may be suffering from mental health issues.