Rick Genest, the tattoo-covered model famously known as Zombie Boy, has died of apparent suicide. He was 32 years old.
“The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating,” she wrote. “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.”
Genest was dubbed “Zombie Boy” because of his full-body skeleton tattoos that made him appear like a living corpse. His unique look eventually caught the attention of Nicola Formichetti, who hired Genest to walk in the Thierry Mugler mens fashion show. His career took off shortly after.
In 2011, Lady Gaga tapped Genest to star in her “Born This Way” music video, which catapulted him into the mainstream consciousness. He would go on to appear in big-time publications, such as GQ, Vanity Fair, and Vogues Hommes Japan. Genest was also the face of Jay-Z’s Rocawear brand in 2012.
“It’s great, I mean, it’s a wonderful project. It has a cool underground feel to it,” he told Clash about working with Hov’s brand. “It’s all showbiz, if it’s acting or if it’s modeling; the world is a stage. It’s a really good opportunity to entertain.”
Condolences go out to Rick’s family and friends. If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.