Lady Gaga has apologized for referring to the death of the Montreal artist and model Rick Genest, professionally known as “Zombie Boy,” as a suicide.
The pop star, who featured Genest in her “Born This Way” music video, tweeted Saturday that she did not mean to draw an “unjust conclusion” in the 32-year-old’s death last week.
Genest attracted international fame for his head-to-toe body art, earning two spots in the Guinness World Book of Records for his tattoos of 178 insects and 138 bones.
Gaga tweeted Thursday that news of Genest’s death, which she called a suicide, was “beyond devastating” and urged fans to erase the stigma surrounding mental health.
Quebec’s coroner’s office has said an autopsy will be conducted to determine the cause of death.
Over the weekend, Gaga apologized to Genest’s friends and family for speaking “too soon” and deleted her previous tweets on the matter.
“The art we made was sacred to me and I was emotional, he was an incredible artist and his art and heart will live on,” she tweeted Saturday.
Genest’s manager, Karim Leduc, said he had reached out to Gaga’s team asking her to amend her initial statement, “based on the information we have at the moment.”
“Myself and the family are very happy that she took the consideration to make a tweet,” Leduc said in an interview Tuesday.
The family is working with police and the coroner in the investigation of Genest’s death, said Leduc.
He said a “very private” ceremony will be held in the artist’s honour.
— with files from Justin Bulman