Lady Gaga removes ‘suicide’ tweet
LADY Gaga has removed a tweet referring to the death of her friend Rick Genest as a suicide.
Genest, who shot to fame in the music video for the singer's hit Born This Way, died after falling from the fourth-floor balcony of his apartment building in Montreal, Canada.
When news broke of the 32-year-old model's death, Lady Gaga took to Twitter to pay tribute to him, urging her millions of followers to pay attention to their loved ones' mental health.
"The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating," she wrote in a now-deleted tweet.
"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," she wrote.
In a follow-up tweet posted today, she apologised for referring to his death as a suicide.
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. I in no way meant to draw an unjust conclusion My deepest condolences to his entire family and friends. pic.twitter.com/CJ9AdOJ22j— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 4, 2018
Her updated tweets follow reports Genest's family do not believe his death was a suicide.
Fans of the fashion star feared he had committed suicide, but his manager Karim Leduc told TMZ Genest's family members believe his death was an accident.
Leduc said the model would lean against his railway balcony while smoking, which his family believe is what led to his fall.
They noted he had a creative personality and loved to write, saying it was strange that he did not leave a suicide note.
Leduc said Genest wasn't a drug user and was sober at the time of his death. He also said he had a "very positive mindset" and was working on several projects, including a new music video and a book of poetry.
Genest was known as "Zombie Boy" due to his distinctive tattoos and extreme body modifications.
As well as his starring appearance in the Lady Gaga video, the prolific artist - who had over 350,000 Instagram followers - booked frequent modelling jobs in magazines like Vanity Fair and GQ, as well as several small film roles.
iHeart reports that Genest is survived by parents Roch Genest and Catheryne Chappelle as well as two younger siblings.
If you or someone you know is in need of crisis or suicide prevention support, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or visit www.lifeline.org.au/gethelp.
NATIONAL 24/7 CRISIS SERVICES