Zombie Boy’s team “shocked and saddened” as they reveal classification of his death is yet to be determined
The team behind Rick Genest, better known as Zombie Boy, has released a statement in the wake of the Canadian model’s death.
They confirmed the 32-year-old, whose tattoos covered 90 per cent of his body, passed away at his home in Montreal, Canada, on Wednesday afternoon.
It was widely reported that he had taken his own life, though they said the classification of his death is yet to be determined.
“The statement made by the police of Montreal is accurate in terms of time and location. Zombie Boy’s death occured in Montreal’s Plateau–Mont Royal neighborhood on Wednesday afternoon August 2nd. The classification of his death is yet to be determined, contrary to reports,” they said in a statement to Mirror Online.
According to TMZ, his family think his death was an accident as he didn’t leave any suicide note after he fell from a fourth floor balcony.
His family say he would regularly smoke on the balcony and often lean back on a railing when doing so.
The statement continued: “Dulcedo Management is shocked and saddened by this tragedy. Zombie Boy, Rico, was loved by everyone who had the chance to meet and know him.
“Icon in the artistic scene and in the fashion and entertainment industries, this innovator has charmed all hearts.
“As you can expect, this is an incredibly difficult time for everyone involved. We ask that the privacy of his family be respected as they grieve and in the next coming days, an official statement will be made by his family.”
The Canadian model was known for his head-to-toe tattoos and starred alongside Lady Gaga in her Born This Way music video in 2011.
His decision to have 90 per cent of his body tattooed to resemble a ‘living skeleton’ was sparked by tragedy, when a life-threatening health crisis sent the Canadian star into a dark spiral.
When he was 15, Rick was diagnosed with a brain tumour.
He spent six months waiting for surgery, and in this time he immersed himself in thinking about life and death and his diagnosis it made him re-evaluate the way he wanted to live.
He said of this time: “I was told I could die or be left disfigured; I guess this spiralled me into becoming obsessed with the morbid and macabre. As it happened, the operation to remove the tumour went without a hitch, but since then, I’ve known life was too short to not fulfil my dreams of tattoos and body modifications.”
After the successful surgery, he decided to start living an ‘anarchistic lifestyle’ – so he ran away from home and started sleeping rough and squatting, hitchhiking and getting into punk rock and the circus and carnival ‘freak scene’ in and around Montreal.
But after getting the skull and crossbones on his arm he became so addicted that inkings soon covered 90 per cent of his body.
He transformed his face into a skeleton and had a zombie brain tattooed on his skull.
In 2011 he won two Guinness World Records for most insects tattooed on a body (176) and most bones tattooed on a body (139).
But his big break came in 2010 when Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga’s stylist, plucked him from obscurity and he appeared alongside a zombie Gaga in her Born This Way video.
After learning of his death, a devastated Gaga called for improved awareness surrounding mental health.
Alongside black and white pictures of the pair togethershared on Twitter, Lady Gaga said: “The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating.
“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.”
Gaga, 32, real name Stefani Germanotta, added: “Reach out if you’re in pain, and if you know someone who is, reach out to them too.”
She also pledged to raise awareness for mental health issues, saying: “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.”
Samaritans (116 123) operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at firstname.lastname@example.org Zombie Boy’s team “shocked and saddened” as they reveal classification of his death is yet to be determined
ZOMBIE BOY , STAR OF “BORN THIS WAY” MUSIC VIDEO, FOUND DEAD AT 32
“Zombie Boy, Rico, was loved by everyone who had the chance to meet and know him,” his management team said
They confirmed the heavily tattooed 32-year-old passed away at his home in Montreal, Canada, on Wednesday afternoon