A coroner in Montreal ruled the 2018 death of model and Lady Gaga collaborator “Zombie Boy” Rick Genest was an accident and not a suicide.
Coroner Melissa Gagnon released her findings on Monday that showed the 32-year-old’s fall from a third-floor balcony on Aug. 1, 2018, was not intentional, as many initially believed at the time of his death.
The coroner revealed that Genest was heavily intoxicated before the fall. In addition to having a lot of alcohol in his system, the presence of cannabis was also found in his blood. Officials determined that an accidental fall from the balcony where he liked to sit while he smoked was more likely than a suicide.
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Soon after he died, the model’s family explained to People that they didn’t think suicide was likely despite many outlets, and Gaga, reporting he took his own life.
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“For us, the family and close entourage, we feel there’s too many inconsistencies around his death to rule it as a suicide, and for people to jump to conclusions that rapidly was disappointing,” Genest’s manager, Karim Leduc, said at the time. “The balcony from which he fell on the third floor was a very dangerous balcony…It’s a balcony that has very small rails/guards — an emergency/fire escape balcony – and he was leaning his back towards it like sitting on the ledge of the rail, and he fell from his backside onto the floor.”
The coroner’s report notes that Genest seemed happy at the time of his death. As the BBC notes, he was motivated by new projects, surrounded by a support system and had just become engaged.
In addition to his modeling career, Genest starred in Lady Gaga’s music video for “Born This Way” in 2011 where the duo played a suited-up zombie couple. Genest was known for his zombie-like tattoos that covered most of his body. The singer paid tribute to the model shortly after news broke that he died with words about suicide prevention. However, Gaga quickly issued an apology after fans noted she spoke too soon in ruling the death a suicide.
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“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,” Gaga tweeted.
She continued: “The art we made was sacred to me and I was emotional, he was an incredible artist and his art and heart will live on. Rest In Peace You beautiful soul.”