Canadian model Rick Genest, who was known as “Zombie Boy” due to his body art, is dead at 32 years old. According to TMZ, Genest died from an apparent suicide.
Genest first rose to fame after he appeared in Lady Gaga’s music video “Born This Way” in 2011.
Genest, who holds a Guinness World Record for most insect tattoos (176) and another for most human bone tattoos (139), got his first tattoo when he was 16. By the time he was 19, his body was covered in ink.
Genest was found dead in his apartment by Montreal police. He would have been 33 years old on August 7.
Lady Gaga was quick to show her love for Genest on Twitter.
The suicide of friend Rick Genest, Zombie Boy is beyond devastating. 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. pic.twitter.com/THz6x5JlpB
— Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) August 3, 2018
At the age of 15, the model discovered that he had a brain tumor, and that the surgery to remove it could kill him or leave him disfigured. The operation was a success although he had 50 percent of his brain removed, according to the Mirror.
“As it happened, the operation to remove the tumor went without a hitch, but since then, I’ve known life was too short to not fulfill my dreams of tattoos and body modifications,” he said.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is open 24 hours a day at 800-273-8255.
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