The family of Rick Genest, who starred in Lady Gaga’s Born This Way music video, believe his death after falling from the third floor balcony of his Montreal apartment on Wednesday was an accident.
The heavily tattooed 32-year-old model, popularly known as Zombie boy, was reported by police to have committed suicide. He fell from the balcony at the rear of his home in Plateau-Mont-Royal after telling his girlfriend he was “going for a cigarette”. Medics could not revive him and he died at around 5pm.
But his manager, speaking on behalf of the family, rejected official claims he deliberately jumped and instead claimed he fell accidentally. He said the balcony was “very dangerous” with only a low rail as protection.
Karim Leduc said there were too many “inconsistencies” around his death to conclude it was suicide and criticized people who had rushed to that conclusion.
He also said Genest had not left a suicide note and had plans in his diary this week.
“He’s not someone who, we feel, would commit suicide; he’s not someone who would do something like that because he’s very thoughtful of others,” Leduc added.
Friends and celebrities have taken to social media to mourn him. Lady Gaga also wrote a touching tribute on Twitter.
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