- Canadian model Rick Genest, 32, found dead in his apartment on Wednesday
- Genest known as Zombie Boy for bone and organ tattoos inked all over his body
- Lady Gaga wrote to 77m Twitter followers: ‘The suicide of friend Rick Genest is beyond devastating, we have to change the culture and erase the stigma’
Lady Gaga has urged anyone suffering from mental health issues to seek help after the death of tattooed model Zombie Boy.
Canadian Rick Genest, 32, was found dead on Wednesday after apparently killing himself at his apartment in Montreal.
Genest earned the moniker Zombie Boy for having bone and organ tattoos inked all over his body, including skull features on his face.
He starred in Lady Gaga’s music video for Born This Way that was released in February 2011.
‘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,’ the singer tweeted to her roughly 77 million followers on Twitter.
She included a photo of Genest and herself from the Born This Way music video.
The singer added: ‘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.’
The Bad Romance singer also posted another tweet announcing a new partnership with her Born This Way Foundation to promote ‘kindness and mental health’.
‘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. Sign up to learn more,’ she posted.
The singer’s stylist Nicola Formichetti discovered Genest in 2010 while also serving as creative director for French fashion designer Thierry Mugler.
The model became known as Zombie Boy for his numerous tattoos depicting the inside of his body on his skin.
The skin art included a tattoo of a brain outside his cranium.
Genest was featured in Mugler fashion shows in Paris and New York City in 2011 and later appeared in magazines such as GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue Hommes.
The tattooed model appeared in a DermaBlend advert in 2011 in which he promotes the brands concealer and make-up remover.
He also was in the 2013 fantasy action film 47 Ronin starring Keanu Reeves, 53.
British artist Marc Quinn, 54, has been working on a 11.5-foot sculpture of Genest titled Self-Conscious Gene set to appear at the 2019 opening of the Medicine Galleries at the Science Museum in London.
Genest started getting tattoos after recovering from brain surgery at age 16 after being on a waiting list for six months.
Friends said he struggled with mental health issues throughout his life.