Rick Genest, a model best known to music fans for his appearance in Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” video, was found dead in his Montreal home on Wednesday.
He was 32 years old.
According to local reports, the Canadian model took his own life, although no further details are available at this time.
In a message on Facebook, Genest’s management company said he “was loved by all those who had the chance to meet him and know him.”
Translated from French, this is what the message reads:
The whole dulcedo family is shocked and pained by this tragedy. Zombie boy, Rico, was loved by all those who had the chance to meet him and know him. Icon of the artistic scene and the fashion world, this innovator, against popular culture, has been able to charm all hearts.
We received the unfortunate news at the beginning of the afternoon and members of the team have come to support his family and relatives in this dark and difficult moment.
We want to present our deepest condolences and the legend will survive human.
Thank you zb for these beautiful moments in your company and for your radiant smile.
Lady Gaga, meanwhile, who has spoken out often about her own struggles with mental health and about the challenges others face in this area, also paid tribute to Genest on Instagram.
T”he suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating,” the artist wrote, adding:
“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.”
The singer subsequently added two other messages along these same sad lines:
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.
Science tells us that it takes 21 days to form a habit, if you are suffering from Mental Health issue I beckon for today to be your first day or a continuation of the work you’ve been doing.
Reach out if you’re in pain, and if you know someone who is, reach out to them too.
Genest holds a Guinness World Record for the most insect tattoos on his body (a total of 176), as well as another record for the most human bone tattoos at 139.
Prior to his passing, Genest was involved with the Home Depot Canada Foundation, an organization that aims to bring awareness to youth homelessness.
Per iHeartRadio, Genest found work as a model after being featured in the Gaga’s aforementioned music video, modeling for magazines such as GQ, Vanity Fair, and Vogue Hommes.
May he rest in peace.