Rick "Zombie Boy" Genest died on Aug. 1 after falling off of his balcony in his three-story apartment. The death of the 32-year-old model, who's best known for his elaborate body tattoos and famously being featured in Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" music video, has been being investigated and reported as an apparent suicide. However, his family and manager believe it was an accidental death.
Since the tragic news hit a few days ago, many have gone to social media to share their thoughts and memories about the late artist, including Gaga. But Gaga's first public message about his death spoke about the "suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy" and urged others to continue the conversation about mental health. "If you are suffering, call a friend or family today. We must save each other." But family was quick to get in touch with Gaga to let her know that his death was not confirmed to be suicide. She later deleted the tweet and apologized.
"Out of respect for Rick's family, Rick & his legacy I apologize if I spoke too soon as there was no witnesses or evidence to support any conclusion for the cause of his death," read her latest message. "I in no way meant to draw an unjust conclusion My deepest condolences to his entire family and friends."
She later posted about their collaboration: "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 wrote. "Rest In Peace You beautiful soul."
In the past few months, several celebrity deaths have been ruled as suicides, including Kate Spade, Anthony Bourdain, and former Playboy playmate Stephanie Adams. But Genest's manager, Karim Leduc, says there were no drugs found in Genest's system and notes the dangerously low guard rails in Genest's apartment.
"So he goes on the backside of the balcony and sort of sits on the rail guard," he told USA Today. "And from what we know, he fell on his backside.... He could have just lost balance." Leduc also said that Genest didn't leave a suicide note either. "Not leaving a suicide note to anybody is very unusual. He wrote to me every day," he said. "He was very expressive."